News about Warner Bros’ emerging LEGO film franchise hasn’t been in short supply, even as we track The LEGO Movie throughout the 2014 awards season. On top of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller being confirmed as the writers for The LEGO Movie 2 and the affirmation of more female characters in the sequel, we now bring you more news about how one spinoff movie will go about approaching its main character as well as a big, BIG confirmation of what has been speculated on for quite some time! (Courtesy of Collider, stemming from an interview on Empire).
When being interviewed by Empire Magazine, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were quite generous in elaborating on their role in the building of the LEGO films. One of those films in particular is LEGO Batman, the upcoming spinoff film centered around Lord and Miller’s breakout interpretation of the character (as voiced by Will Arnett).
While Lord and Miller kept a tight lip as far as any major plot details are concerned, they did comment that the film won’t just put the miniature caped crusader in his own adventure. It will do so whilst honoring Batman’s lengthy history in film and television:
Miller: “Rest assured that every era of Batman filmmaking will be acknowledged. There have been so many interpretations of Batman and there is so much to play with there. There are 40 versions of his origin story alone.”
And now for the big one. The question that everybody had on their mind when it came to these films has been finally answered:
Miller: “The thing is about these movies is that each of them have their own tone and their own voice. We’re doing this Ninjago one with Charlie Bean, we’re working on the Batman one, and each one of them feels like its own movie, but obviously they all exist in the universe that the Lego movie existed in, and so finding that balance has been part of the trick.”
Lord: “It’s like we started with The Avengers and now we’re going to spin off and explore the different worlds, then come back.”
Yes, Warner Bros is building an animated cinematic universe based off the LEGO brand.
In doing that, they beat out DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Pixar, Sony, and just about anyone else you can think of as the first in the animation industry to do so.
Now of course, they may not be the only one in the future. Disney can definitely go in this direction with Big Hero 6 if they so choose. DreamWorks could go one of two ways: either build one out of an existing property or create a brand new IP in which a shared universe approach can easily be built in. Depending on how the ‘shared universe’ concept flies with the LEGO films, we may very well experience a domino effect similar to how the Marvel Cinematic Universe resulted in other studios building (or in most cases reshaping) their properties with the shared universe in mind.
It’s especially interesting given how Lord and Miller describe the approach taken here of starting with an Avengers-style installment (The LEGO Movie) and then spinning off into other areas of that universe (LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Batman). What can definitely count as a plus on their end is how they are building these films with the prospect that each film must be its own entity. Sure, there may be elements that will serve to connect the films (as is common with a shared universe), but their biggest strength will lie in the biggest advantage that they have (and seem to recognize) with a brand like LEGO: that its a property that can easily accommodate any genre and a vast array of tones and styles.
Again, what effect this will have on other animation studios will remain to be seen, but we’ll definitely keep a close eye on this as it develops.
LEGO Ninjago arrives on September 23, 2016. LEGO Batman follows in 2017. The LEGO Movie 2 will bow sometime in 2018.
What do you think? Any thoughts on the formation of the LCU (Lego Cinematic Universe)? How do you even feel about a animated ‘shared universe’?