While LEGO’S products have been popular with kids for a long, long time, it’s hard to imagine that anyone quite anticipated just how huge The LEGO Movie would become. Sporting an extremely impressive 96 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was a huge hit with both critics and audiences, earning nearly $470 million worldwide on a budget of only $60 million. Naturally, this made The LEGO Movie a lock to not only get a sequel, but become a full-fledged franchise. While The LEGO Movie Sequel doesn’t arrive until 2019, next year holds two treats for those who enjoy LEGO’s animated exploits.
First up is The LEGO Batman Movie, which hits theaters in February. Continuing the 2017 LEGO onslaught is The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which is set to debut next fall. Based on the popular line of LEGO sets of the same name, The LEGO Ninjago Movie is being penned by the sibling duo of Dan and Kevin Hageman, who also penned the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV series for Cartoon Network, and co-wrote the story for the original LEGO Movie. Directing the project is Charlie Bean, an animation veteran who has previously helmed episodes of Tron: Uprising.
As for voice talent, the already stacked cast of The LEGO Ninjago Movie has just added two more names to the mix, as reported by THR. First up on the addition list is Olivia Munn, who most recently appeared as Psylocke in this summer’s blockbuster sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. A former TV host, Munn also earned positive reviews for her work as financial reporter Sloan Sabbith on HBO’s The Newsroom. Her role in LEGO Ninjago will be as mother to Lloyd (Dave Franco), one of the lead members of the titular ninja squad.
The second addition to the roster is Justin Theroux, a decades-long Hollywood veteran probably most easily recognized for his work as Kevin Garvey on The Leftovers. Theroux will play evil warlord Garmadon, the film’s big bad, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.
Aside from Munn, Theroux, and the aforementioned Franco, the rest of LEGO Ninjago’s voice cast is absolutely bursting with star power, including Ant-Man’s Michael Pena, Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani and Zach Woods, SNL alumnus Fred Armisen, Broad City co-creator Abbi Jacobson, and action legend Jackie Chan. This continues the trend so far of Warner Bros. sparing no expense when casting big names for its animated LEGO flicks.
Will The LEGO Ninjago Movie stand up to the greatness of The LEGO Movie? It very well may, although it’ll certainly be a tough task. After all, it’s not every day that a movie is enjoyed by seemingly everyone. That said, things seem to be heading down the right track so far.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie arrives in theaters on September 22, 2017.