Following the success of The LEGO Movie last year, Warner Bros. is betting all their chips on the tiny bricks to turn into a full-fledged franchise for them. Not only is a sequel to The LEGO Movie coming but so is LEGO Ninjago and The LEGO Batman Movie. Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who helmed the first film, are on board for the ride too, acting as producers for the spin-offs and revealed today that though they’re writing the sequel, they won’t direct it.
“I don’t think so,” Miller said, when asked by Empire. “We’re writing the sequel right now and obviously producing all the other ones. There’s a challenge to make each one feel like its own thing. Part of the fun is finding people like Charlie [Bean], who’s doing the Ninjago movie, and Chris McKay who did so much on the first film. Each of them have their own distinct voices and ideas for tone. So it will each have its own personality and not just be, ‘Hey, remember that last movie? Here’s another one just like it!’ So that’s been a big challenge but so far it’s been going better than I expected.”
“I think it’s nice for all these other films to have their own voice and that’s what’s neat about working with all these other filmmakers,” Lord added. “They come up with solutions you wouldn’t think of. Watching Charlie Bean’s sequences for Ninjago is so gratifying because he’s able to make it play without any dialogue and has a really great visual style. It’s really nice and refreshing. I think it would get boring if we directed them all, quite honestly.”
Further asking about the sequel to last year’s hit, the outlet asked the pair why they’ve decided to write the sequel having originally decided to just produce.
“We worried we didn’t have enough time,” Lord says. “Luckily, [Chris] McKay and Jared [Stern] and Michelle [Morgan] all worked on the movie a bit in our absence and really cracked the beginnings of a story and got us really excited; excited enough to write it. We should be writing right now. We’ve opened a Final Draft document and titled it. I mean, that’s really the hardest part. And we’ve chosen the formatting. That is all that’s happened so far. We’ve been outlining a bunch.”
Miller went on to detail some interesting bits about the film’s plot, revealing it will take place four years after the first film (which will be released four years after the first).
“Well I don’t want to give you spoilers but we were really interested in what happens to that boy who’s in the meta story in the first movie when he’s four years older. When he’s an adolescent how does that change his point of view? And it’s nice to have the characters start in a different place from the first movie. Emmet, for example, was in an existential crisis of having seen another dimension and was questioning the whole point of his existence.”
The LEGO calendar is ever growing with LEGO Ninjago set for release on September 23, 2016, The LEGO Batman Movie scheduled for May 26, 2017, The LEGO Movie 2 on May 25, 2018, and another Untitled LEGO Movie on May 24, 2019.