Lego, at first, sounds like a blatant Hollywood cash-grab aimed at nostalgic adults and a younger generation who may want to purchase said toys after (or even before) seeing the movie. Similar to the developing Stretch Armstrong, the playthings behind Lego lack even the semblance of a narrative, much less a pre-established mythology (unlike Transformers).
So how then did Lego attract the interest of Dan and Kevin Hageman? After all, that pair devised the story for next month’s Hotel Transylvania, a 3D animated project that allowed the writers’ collective imagination to run wild concocting a tale involving iconic monsters. Well, switch out “iconic monsters” for “Lego toys” and the previous description fits the Lego movie equally well, oddly enough.
Warner Bros. is behind Lego and previous reports indicated that studio heads are taking advantage of ties to DC Comics, so as to allow for Lego-ized versions of superheroes in the film. Hence, it’s been confirmed that Arrested Development star Will Arnett is voicing the Batman Lego in said movie, while the search continues for a viable candidate to lend their vocals to a Lego Superman (Channing Tatum is rumored to still be the top choice).
It’s not yet apparent whether or not the project features additional appearances by recognizable characters in Lego form. However, Deadline says the costars of two of this year’s highest-grossing films – Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) and Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises) – have been recruited to bring their vocal talents to Lego, with the latter playing a Lego guy called Vitruvius.
Plot-wise, Lego revolves around the exploits of Emmet (Parks and Recreation‘s Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego guy who is mistaken for a legendary figure known as the MasterBuilder. He is thereafter forced to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant, who plans to devastate the Lego population by gluing all of Lego-dom together.
Credit for that storyline partially belongs to the primary screenwriters on Lego, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who are also directing). The duo have earned a reputation for turning non-cinematic properties into hip and clever film adaptations that provide solid entertainment value – even while poking fun at their origins as calculating cash-grabs (see: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street).
Between the talented creative personnel and voice cast, Lego actually has a lot working in its favor. We will see if it turns out to be a winner when the film opens in theaters on February 28th, 2014.