×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner builds pic with Lego

Studio to bring playthings to the bigscreen

Movies based on toys couldn’t be hotter in Hollywood, with nearly every studio adapting playthings for the bigscreen.

Now count Warner Bros. as one of those studios: WB is toying with plans to develop a movie around Lego and its popular building blocks.

Scribes Dan and Kevin Hageman are penning the script for the family comedy that will mix live action and animation. Warners is keeping the plot tightly under wraps, but it’s described as an action adventure set in a Lego world.

Dan Lin, who is shepherding Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes” and exec produced the studio’s upcoming family film “Shorts,” will produce the movie through his Lin Pictures, which is also behind a “Tom and Jerry” film that will put the feuding animated characters in a live-action setting. The shingle’s Stephen Gilchrist serves as co-producer.

Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo banner, while Jill Wilfert, VP of licensing and entertainment at Lego, will oversee the pic for the toymaker.

Directors and producers in town have attempted to make a Lego movie for years, approaching the Danish toymaker with various ideas, but Lego turned down most of them because it’s highly protective of its brand.

To date, Lego has made only a series of direct-to-DVD animated movies based on its Bionicle line.

But the company sparked to Lin and the Hageman brothers’ embrace of core values Lego wanted to include in a film, especially “a fun factor, creativity and that imagination has no boundaries,” Lin told Daily Variety. The film’s been in development for more than a year, with the scribes and producers making several trips to Denmark to work with Lego’s execs on the concept.

Also helping is the long relationship Warner Bros. has had with Lego over the years. Warner has licensed characters like Batman, Harry Potter and Speed Racer to Lego to integrate into playsets, and through TT Games, the videogame publisher that WB bought in 2007, has produced the popular “Lego Star Wars,” “Lego Indiana Jones,” “Lego Batman” and, soon, “Lego Rock Band” titles.

The Hageman brothers recently wrote the CG feature “Hotel Transylvania” for Sony Pictures Animation. They also adapted fantasy book “The Lies of Locke Lamora” for Warner Bros. They first landed the attention of Hollywood in 2003, when Steven Spielberg tapped the scribes to pen the drama “Charlie Dills” based on his own idea.

Decision to move forward with a Lego movie follows the recent success of “G.I. Joe,” which opened in the top spot at the box office over the weekend for Paramount, which also scored this summer with “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Both pics are based on Hasbro action figures.

Hasbro and rival Mattel have recently brokered a slew of deals around town to create film adaptations of their most popular toys, including Monopoly, Candyland, Battleship, Stretch Armstrong, View-Master, Max Steel, Hot Wheels and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

For the toymakers, a movie is seen as a way to raise awareness around a brand and sell more playthings. For the studios, a toy-based film only makes it easier to promote a pic to audiences given the built-in recognition factor.

More Scene

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Anthony Anderson LADF

    Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

    Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]

  • Shia LaBeouf poses at the premiere

    Shia LaBeouf to Host Birthday Fundraiser for Slauson Rec. Theater Company

    Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]

  • Awkwafina, Lulu Wang Celebrate New York

    Awkwafina Wants 'The Farewell' to Break Boundaries of Cultural Differences

    Family dysfunction is universal despite cultural differences. That’s what writer and director Lulu Wang wants audiences to take away from her film “The Farewell” starring Awkwafina. “This movie will teach us universality out of specificity. There’s something that we can all kind of relate to across cultures. There’s something we still have to learn about [...]

  • Elizabeth Debicki

    Elizabeth Debicki Talks About Being Supported by Other Women in Hollywood

    Elizabeth Debicki is looking to the future — which makes sense, since she was named Women in Film and Max Mara’s “Face of the Future” for 2019. “No pressure,” Debicki laughed when Variety asked the actress about the honor on the red carpet. “It means a great deal. I have always deeply respected the work [...]

  • Carla Gugino Jett

    How Carla Gugino Is Redefining the Anti-Hero in Cinemax's Crime Drama 'Jett'

    “This is like no character I’ve ever played,” Carla Gugino told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of Cinemax’s “Jett” on Tuesday night. “I think television is filled with great roles for women, which is such a godsend these days. But the anti-hero — there’s still a double standard there.” In the new series, Gugino [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content