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Warner Bros. Turns to Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya to Take DC Comics’ Superheroes on Tour

Sawaya created Lego Oscars for the Academy Awards telecast

After featuring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in “The Lego Movie,” Warner Bros. will take DC Comics’ characters on the road and rebuild them with Lego’s little bricks as part of a new traveling art exhibit.

To produce the show, Warner Bros. has turned to Nathan Sawaya, an artist who builds large-scale sculptures using Lego.

His work has been traveling the world through the “The Art of the Brick” show since 2007, and is currently on display through six separate exhibits touring simultaneously.

Sawaya’s handiwork was also prominently featured during the Academy Awards, with 20 Oscar statues each made of 500 bricks that were handed out to celebrities in the audience during the ceremony as part of a sight gag tied to the performance of the nominated song “Everything is Awesome,” from “The Lego Movie.”

“The Art of the Brick: DC Comics” will showcase Sawaya’s interpretations of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, the Joker, the Penguin and Harley Quinn as sculptures, as well as their vehicles and environments in galleries.

“This is an amazing opportunity as an artist to be granted the privilege to bring the pages of DC Comics to life and to interpret some of the most famous and iconic characters in history,” Sawaya said. “I look forward to bringing these characters to life in new ways that uniquely fit the medium.”

Sawaya already has created superhero displays of Catwoman, Superman and Batman made of Lego for DC in the past, primarily for San Diego Comic-Con.

But his new “Art of the Brick” show will be the first time he devotes all of the displays to one theme.

“It will be fun to take the world’s greatest superheroes and the world’s greatest toy and do something with an artistic eye and see what happens,” said Sawaya who’s a fan of Batman, and naturally Bunker, who can manipulate plastic blocks with his mind, “kind of like what I do,” he said. His favorite villain is the Toy Man, of course. “It’s a privilege to be invited to do it and exciting to take on a project like this through my own unique style.”

That style has largely revolved around the human form. Now “there’s an opportunity to look at the human form and examine these characters in a different way,” Sawaya said.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products worked with DC Entertainment to develop the show, which will launch in the fall and go on its worldwide tour.

The show is the latest traveling show Warner Bros. is producing after having launched “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” in 2009. That show premiered at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and has been seen by more than 3 million visitors in cities like Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo. Its next stop is Paris.

“Nathan Sawaya is truly a master in his craft which we have experienced firsthand through previous collaborations,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Much like the characters of the DC Comics universe, ‘The Art of the Brick’ has broad appeal. We are thrilled to be partnering with Nathan to tour this truly unique interpretation around the world for fans of all ages to experience.”

Sawaya may be one of Lego’s biggest customers, given the tools he works with.

“I’m an independent artist, but I do have a good business relationship with Lego, since I’m a unique customer,” said Sawaya, who buys hundreds of thousands of Lego bricks each month. “They’re aware of what I’m doing. A painter may not have a relationship with a paint maker, but there’s only one company that makes Lego.”

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