A Look at the Unreleased “The Billion Brick Race” Characters

If you recall back in 2016, when things are still smooth sailing between the LEGO Group and Warner Bros, a grand plan was made to bring the LEGO brand at the forefront of mainstream media. Riding on the success of The LEGO Movie back in 2014, more films were slated to be released following the footsteps of the LEGO Group’s first theatrical endeavor. Though we saw the success of the LEGO Batman Movie, the next two brick-films – the LEGO Ninjago Movie and the LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – were not that close to what their predecessors managed to achieve. So it doesn’t come as a surprise if LEGO and Warner Bros. eventually decided to pull the plug on yet another possible theatrical collaboration. The Billion Brick Race was initially planned for release sometime in May this year, but unfortunately, we will never see this film on the big screen. And these include potential LEGO tie-in sets that it may come about later on.

However, such setbacks did not discourage the film’s would-be director to share some of his minifigure character designs for The Billion Brick Race. Jorge R. Gutirrez, who also helmed the animated film, The Book of Life, took to Twitter to share some of his initial character sketches of the colorful characters that were expected to appear in the film. Take a look.

Since the shelving of the film project and Jorge’s departure from Warner Bros, he saw it fitting to share his creation with the rest of the world and to the LEGO fan community in particular. There is no clear definite plot yet regarding The Billion Brick Race, but the way the characters were designed gives us a grasp of the overall feel of the film.

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Admittedly, Jorge incorporated some of the 80s and 90s pop icons and symbols and fused it with his signature art design. I also appreciate what he did coming up with a LEGO minifigure character in a wheelchair. The diversity that he introduces with regards to these minifig character sketches is also admirable, together with his keen attention to detail. Just take a look at tattoos on some of the minifigs’ arms.

One particular point of interest is the oversized minifigure of what I think is a wrestler which follows the same mold as that of Axl from the now discontinued LEGO Nexo Knights. I feel that this form of minifigure has a lot of potential for a LEGO set but sadly, we don’t see it further developed after the end of Nexo Knights and now much more with the shelving of The Billion Brick Race.

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Who knows if Universal will eventually pick up where Warner Bros left have of with regards to this would-be brickfilm. I personally want to see this next LEGO film happen, and perhaps we just have to wait and see if the LEGO Group and Universal will put this back on the table.

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LEGO Now in Talks With Universal Pictures For Its Next Brickfilm

It looks like LEGO is cozying up with Universal Pictures, with the goal of working towards its next brickfilm endeavor. After launching its series of major brick-inspired animations from the highly successful LEGO Movie and toward its not lackluster sequel, the LEGO Group practically cut ties with WB with the unfortunate cancellation of its next brickfilm, a LEGO Movie spin-off, The Billion Brick Race.

However, an exclusive report from the Variety now tells us that Universal Pictures will be the next film production company that will most likely pick up the pieces were WB left off. According to Variety’s sources that are privy to the confidential deal, the said partnership will have a “much broader use” of the various IPs that LEGO featured in the past.  Another exciting thing about the deal is the idea is having the most famous films under Universal’s belt translated into LEGO bricks. We already know that a LEGO Minions theme will be coming in the first half of 2020, and a bunch of LEGO Trolls World Tour tie-in sets will also be available come by January 1st. And after the success of both the LEGO Jurassic Park and Jurassic World sets, LEGO has a pretty good grasp of the benefits of partnering with Universal.

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Here’s what Variety has to say about this LEGO-Universal deal.

Universal Pictures is in talks with the LEGO Group to develop new feature film properties based on the popular block toys, numerous sources close to the pending deal told Variety.

Producer Dan Lin, who has made several films based on the childhood staple at Warner Bros., is expected to remain on future projects despite his overall deal at Warners.

The pact with Universal is a much broader use of the intellectual property than the previous films, sources said, which saw actors like Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks bring life to geometric heroes in a world populated by Legos.

Among the ideas Universal is floating is a reimagining of its own content library through the toys, sources said. “Jurassic World,” for instance, saw a spinoff LEGO series made and sold globally in 2019, which aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. There are also concepts floating for live-action hybrid features.

Both parties are still mum about the deal, neither denying nor confirming the rumored deal about LEGO’s next brickfilm. I’ll keep you posted once the official word comes out.

Warner Bros’ “The Billion Brick Race” Loses Director For The Second Time.

The LEGO Movie, a co-production between the Warner Bros. Animation Group and LEGO, was one of biggest animated film franchises to start up in this decade. After all, from its success, we owe other titles such as most recent The LEGO Ninjago Movie and the stupendously popular LEGO Batman Movie with both films launched in 2017.

It has also been announced that WAG and the LEGO Group have set its sights on offering another brick-built film slated for release in 2019. The Billion Brick Race is a sequel to 2014’s LEGO Movie and another spinoff in the vein of Batman and Ninjago, tentatively set for a May 24, 2019 debut. However, the ambitious sequel seems to be going through rough waters as problems akin to Lucasfilm’s Solo, has been plaguing it recently particularly with two directorial changes.

Jason Segel and Drew Pearce were originally named back in 2015 to be co-directors of The Billion Brick Race. In 2017 however, they were replaced by Jorge R. Gutierrez, who was at the helm for Fox Animation’s The Book of Life. Earlier this month, unfortunately, Gutierrez announced his departure from the project as well. Here’s his parting words as expressed in his Twitter account:

“I would like to publicly and from the bottom of my heart thank everyone I worked with at Briksburg, LEGO and WAG. These last 9 months were a rollercoaster of thrills to say the least. I met so many amazing new people and learned a ton from all these incredible artists, directors, writers, editors, producers and execs. I leave a better filmmaker and it’s because of you all. May our paths cross again. Gracias mis amigos. And as I toasted on my first day there, ‘May we slip n slide on the blood of our enemies!!!’”

Well, that’s quite a bummer. Now that The Billion Brick Race has lost a director for the second time, doubts have clouded the film’s otherwise bright future. With just more than a year to bring things in order, we really don’t have the faintest idea how Warner Bros. Animation will turn things around specially that the film giant hasn’t yet named a successor to Gutierrez. We can only hope for the best at this point.

Thanks to the Flickering Myth for the heads up.

New LEGO Ninjago Short Set To Hit Theaters Alongside Warner Bros’ ‘Storks’.

Warner Animation Group’s next big screen offering, Storks, is slated to hit theaters next month, and it seems that the 3D computer animated film is not the only star of the show. The Hollywood Reporter recently revealed that Warner Bros will also give audiences a glimpse of what to expect on its much anticipated LEGO Ninjago Movie ahead of its showing in 2017. Featuring a new animated short entitled The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short, we’ll see Master Wu square off with an unlikely nemesis, simply called the ‘Chicken’. THR further reports that legendary Jackie Chan will debut as Master Wu in the said short, with Abbi Jacobson starring as the Chicken with Justin Theroux narrating. Theroux is also slated to voice Garmandon in the main LEGO Ninajago Movie.

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Here’s the rest of THR’s report:

From Warner Bros. Pictures and WAG, in association with Lego System A/S, the five-minute short was directed by Jon Saunders, from a screenplay by Saunders and Ross Evans and story by Saunders, Evans, Carey Yost and Remington D. Donovan. Ryan Halprin produced.

The short announcement follows news that Chan, Jacobson and Theroux have all joined the voice cast for The Lego Ninjago Movie, which will also feature Chan voicing Wu and Jacobson voicing a ninja. Theroux will play Garmadon in The Lego Ninjago Movie, which has a Sept. 22, 2017, release date.

Following the success of 2014’s The Lego Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (who are executive producers of Storks, The Master and The Lego Ninjago Movie), WAG also intends to release spinoff feature The Lego Batman Movie, also planned for a 2017 release, as well as a Lego Movie sequel, slated for 2019.

Building on the success of The LEGO Movie and the high anticipation of fans for the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie, Warner Bros is also banking on one of LEGO’s original theme once it hits theaters on September 22, 2017. The LEGO Group also seems to be confident on how movie-going fans in general will receive the LEGO Ninjago Movie by adding several rumored sets and a line of collectible minifigures under its banner. Here’s a brief synopsis of the movie as we previously reported.

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Ninjago is the story of six young ninja tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skill and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens, struggling against their greatest enemy: high school. 

 

The LEGO Batman Movie opens in U.S. theaters on February 10th, 2017, followed by The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22nd, 2017, The LEGO Movie Sequel on February 8th, 2019 and Billion Brick Race on May 24th, 2019.

Images and First Official Poster of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Revealed

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While the world is bracing itself for a barrage of awe-inspiring superhero movies this year starting with the much anticipated Batman VS Superman hitting theaters this weekend, Will Arnett’s brick rendition of the DC’s Dark Knight will launch a trailer this Wednesday to officially kick-off the LEGO Batman Movie.

The latest LEGO movie for the big screen slated to hit cinemas on February 10, 2017, is a spinoff of the highly successful 2014 LEGO Movie. But before we exclaim ‘Everything is Awesome!’, first images from the movie was shared by USA Today just in time before the trailer’s debut.

 

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2014’s The LEGO Movie portrayed the plastic Caped Crusader as a ‘dark’ brooding character singing a hard-rock tune, “Darkness! No Parents!” and according to Director Chris McKay, the LEGO Batman Movie will show a different side of the Dark Knight. For most of his LEGO crime fighting career, Batman was used to a solitary existence while in perpetual denial of how lonely he is. True, he may have feelings for Wildstyle, but he can’t seem to progress to that level of making meaningful relationships and sticking to it.

 

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“Batman is an island onto himself, the only thing he doesn’t have is relationships. We’re making ‘About a Boy’ as directed by (action director) Michael Mann,” McKay points out.

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Things are about to change when Batman learns that he will eventually need the help of his sidekicks in the person of Robin and the Batgirl. It will be an interesting take on how the overly self-reliant superhero will learn to live with and acknowledge his need for friends and back-ups. Director McKay also shared that further cameos from the LEGO DC Super Heroes are to be expected in the LEGO Batman Movie. “We’re nothing but exhaustive about the cameos and other characters that try to enter Batman’s life,” McKay says.

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To compliment the trailer’s release anytime soon, the first official poster for the movie was tweeted by Will Arnett, along with the bold claim, “I AM Lego Batman”.

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Along with Will Arnett, the LEGO Batman Movie will feature the voices of Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), Michael Cera (Dick Grayson aka Robin), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl), and Zach Galifianakis (The Joker).

In similar news, we might not wait until 2017 to see the brickified Dark Knight throw some punches once again. Another LEGO original movie is expected to debut via Blu-ray and DVD this July. Like similar other Direct-to-DVD releases, the LEGO Justice League Gotham City Breakout will come with an exclusive minifigure. A lot has been teased lately about the special minifigure that will go along with this DVD release, and just a while ago, Jason shared what seems to be a legit photo of the exclusive Blue Nightwing that comes bundled together with the DVD release.

 

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LEGO Justice League Gotham City Breakout is already listed on AmazonUK’s website, though in a different title (LEGO Justice League Gotham Unleashed). Details are still scant as of now, but the site mentions that the movie’s Blu-ray version will be out on July 4, 2016.

 

No images were posted yet but we hope to see this anytime soon since Amazon has started accepting pre-orders.

The LEGO Batman Movie opens in U.S. theaters on February 10, 2017, followed by Ninjago on September 22, 2017, The LEGO Movie Sequel on May 18, 2018, and The Billion Brick Race on May 24, 2019.

 

 

LEGO Movie Producers Shares Some Teasers About “The LEGO Movie Sequel”

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Back in 2014, most people didn’t expect that much from a movie that was animated and rendered entirely using LEGO bricks dismissing it as another cartoonish, ran-off-the-mill production. However, for a film grossing at $468 million worldwide, the film is not easy to dismiss as another ho-hum script with no appeal on pop culture. In fact, even as I am writing this and for some weird reason, ‘Everything is Awesome’ keeps on playing inside my head.

Now that we are in the know of another sequel which is, as you might have guess is aptly entitled as ‘The LEGO Movie Sequel’, Warner Bros. Pictures predictably builds on the success of the first groundbreaking movie. All slated to hit the screens for the next two years, we are already informed of other spin-offs such as ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ and ‘Ninjago’ currently in the works before we see again the (mis)adventures of Emmet and his gang of master builders.

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We have very little information with regards to the plot and storyline of ‘The LEGO Movie Sequel’, except for the fact that writers Chris Lord and Phil Miller has already completed its first draft. However, through a recent interview with producer Roy Lee, he shared some hints on what could be potentially exciting on the next instalment from the LEGO franchise. Being careful not to divulge too much of the story’s content, Lee shared his excitement and admiration for Batman’s Gotham City and how it is rendered within the LEGO Movie landscape. Lee says, “Seeing where Batman lives in full LEGO, the audience will love seeing Gotham City fully rendered in LEGO. It’s currently being animated right now because it’s the next movie coming out. Batman will have the same character choices as he had in The LEGO Movie.”

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Talking about Ninjago, Lee commented, “Anyone who knows the series on Cartoon Network will be blown away by the look and feel and huge scope of how we’ve expanded the universe of Ninjago. It’s like seeing The LEGO Movie in a ninja universe.”

So, what can audiences and fans expect from the next LEGO Movie sequel in 2018? Well, Lee was particularly coy in giving out details except for the confirmation that they completed their cast of voice actors already and that every one’s role is already set into place. The first movie was filled with plenty of cameos from other LEGO franchises, and such mash up of unique and famous characters should also be expected in the sequel. Lee added, “The first movie we got a lot of cameos, and it’s not that hard to get them to say yes, especially when they already have deals with LEGO. Having Star Wars, you would think would be almost the hardest thing to get, and if we got Star Wars, there are other things that would be a lot easier.” We remember very well how Hans Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Carlrissian made their appearance in the first movie – only to be gobbled up by a nasty space creature.

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For now, the best thing to do is to keep our horses together and wait until the new LEGO movies hit theaters – plus the cool themed sets that will pave the way for them. The LEGO Batman Movie premieres in U.S. theaters on February 10, 2017, followed by Ninjago on September 22, 2017, The LEGO Movie Sequel on May 18th, 2018, and Billion Brick Race on May 24th, 2019.