- Universal’s acquisition of the film rights for The Lego Movie suggests significant changes in the kinds of pop-culture references that will be included in future films.
- Directorial duo Adam and Aaron Nee, known for their work on Netflix’s Masters of the Universe reboot, have signed on to develop a new live-action and animated hybrid film based on LEGO.
- The move to Universal marks a shift in the LEGO Movie franchise, with the potential for Universal to introduce their own IP instead of relying on Warner Bros.’ characters like Lego Batman.
New reports give the first update on Universal’s plans for their own The Lego Movie, more than three years after the studio assumed stewardship of the IP. Despite having a long history of direct-to-video films and television specials, Warner Bros. shattered all expectations with 2014’s The Lego Movie, the first theatrical release based on the iconic Danish toy. However, following two less successful spinoffs and a 2019 sequel, Universal stepped in to acquire the film rights in an exclusive five-year deal with the LEGO group.
According to Variety, inside sources say that directorial duo Adam and Aaron Nee, who were attached to Netflix’s recently cancelled Masters of the Universe reboot, have signed on to develop a new live-action and animated hybrid film based on the LEGO brand. Per the original report, it is suggested that this deal was finalized prior to the recent strike action currently affecting Hollywood. Despite already being three years into a five-year deal with LEGO, this news is the first inkling audiences have gleaned about Universal’s plans for the property.
What Lego’s Move To Universal Will Mean For The Next Lego Movie
With studios currently embroiled in ongoing industrial action with both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), it will likely be some time before more details emerge surrounding Universal’s own plans for a Lego Movie. However, one thing that can be deduced about the project is that the change in studios will likely have significant impacts on the kinds of IP that will be referenced throughout the film.
While Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie and its sequel introduced audiences to a range of original characters led by Chris Pratt’s Emmet Brickowski, it also relied heavily on the studio’s other IP to fill out its roster with more well-known pop-culture characters. In addition to Will Arnett’s Lego Batman, the films would often draw upon other characters from the DC Universe, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings. With the film rights having passed hands, it is likely that Universal will instead seek to replace these kinds of references with their own IP.
It is possible, however, that the Nee brothers may have something else planned altogether, and they may seek to differentiate their own The Lego Movie and avoid the same kind of pop-culture references that Lord and Miller relied on. Either way, viewers should probably not expect to see Arnett’s Lego Batman or his assorted friends make their way across to Universal.