Warner Bros. has found a new director for the in-development LEGO spinoff Billion Brick Race in The Book of Life's Jorge R. Guttierez. A few years ago, WB managed to turn a then ridiculed idea of an animated LEGO film/universe into something magical. Phil Lord and Chris Miller brought their sensibilities to The LEGO Movie, crafting a heartfelt and funny tale in a one-of-a-kind world. WB's faith in the project turned out to be well-placed with The LEGO Movie grossing nearly $500 million worldwide, and they quickly moved to develop a number of other films in the same universe.
One of these projects was Billion Brick Race, originally conceived by writer Drew Pearce. He and How I Met Your Mother's Jason Segal were paired together to develop the spinoff, but it has not received any momentum since. We may now know why as the project has had a change in the director's chair.
THR has revealed that Book of Life director Jorge R. Gutierrez has boarded the project as its new director. He will take over directing duties from Pearce, but will currently focus on developing the project further. No details regarding the plot of this film have been revealed, so it is unclear to what degree Gutierrez will rework Pearce's original idea. The film has previously targeted a May 2019 release.
With no real information coming out about Billion Brick Race since its announcement, it is difficult to pinpoint how great of a fit Gutierrez will be to the film and the LEGO franchise. At the very least, he has a history with animation before, not only with Book of Life, but also thanks to his involvement with a variety of short films. Book of Life received critical praise upon its release in 2014, but many reviews pointed to a weak story keeping the film from reaching its true potential.
While the addition of Gutierrez does indicate that Warner Bros. is still interested in making Billion Brick Race a reality, where it fits into the larger world remains to be seen. The studio already debuted The LEGO Batman Movie earlier this year to glowing reviews, but a lower box office return then many expected. With The LEGO Ninjago Movie due to hit theaters in the coming months, how well it fairs could determine how aggressively WB moves forward with additional spinoffs like Billion Brick Race. If they deem the spinoffs as not profitable enough ventures, then they could turn their focus on The LEGO Movie 2 and continue to re-evaluate the future of Billion Brick Race and the universe.
- The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017) release date: Sep 22, 2017
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019