Children of the 20th Century grew up playing with Lego toys, whereas the current young generation also has a collection of movie-themed video game spinoffs to enjoy (Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Harry Potter, etc.). No surprise, Warner Bros. is expanding the multi-platform franchise to now include theatrically-released movies, beginning with a project titled… The Lego Movie.
Lego Movie previously went under such titles as Lego: The Piece of Resistance and just Lego, but the 3D computer-animated feature is now prepared to release under a title so generic, it almost sounds like a joke. Of course, that’s probably the idea, coming from writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street).
Here is the official synopsis for The Lego Movie:
The 3D computer animated adventure tells the story of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.
Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) is voicing Emmet, meaning he will headline Lego Movie in animated form, before playing the flesh-and-blood leading (hu)man Star-Lord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) is reported to be voicing the Batman Lego and Morgan Freeman is lending his vocal gravitas to a character named Vitruvius. The rest of the star-studded voice cast includes Liam Neeson (Taken 2), Alison Brie (Community), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games).
Here is the official movie logo (click for full-sized version):
The Lego Movie screenplay was written by Lord and Miller, drawing from a story they co-wrote with Dan and Kevin Hageman (Hotel Transylvania). Personally, I see a lot of potential for delightful cartoonish mayhem and self-aware humor in a premise that involves a Lego mini-figurine being “mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person,” so this project seems to be starting on the right foot, even in the writing stage.
Lord and Miller have earned a reputation for bringing sly wit and inspired creativity to their directing efforts, even on the most calculated of cash grabs (such as a 21 Jump Street movie that preys on lingering nostalgia for a goofy 1980s TV show concept). Combine that with their proven skill at using the 3D animation medium for proper effect in their Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs adaptation, and that is reason enough to anticipate their Lego Movie (in my humble opinion, anyway).
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.