Pretty much everyone scoffed at the idea of an entire film based on the enduring Lego toy line. After all, it was anyone’s guess how construction blocks could be used to, well, build a compelling story.
Yet, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller found a way to deliver an energetic, imaginative animated hit which earned rave reviews and $469 million worldwide back in 2014.
Since then, Warner Bros. has taken its time with the sequel. But now the long-awaited follow-up to The Lego Movie looks like it’s locked into place at last.
Mike Mitchell to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with a deal following the box office success of his last project, the Dreamworks animated hit Trolls. The film – also based on a popular line of toys – earned a mostly positive critical response and, more importantly to studio heads, grossed $339 million globally.
Prior to its release, Mitchell’s credits include box office hits (and misses) like Shrek Forever After, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
Rob Schrab – a comic book writer and television director who worked on series like Community and The Mindy Project – was previously in line to direct the film, but left due to “creative differences,” the trade publication said. As it stands, Mitchell will direct a script by Matt Fogel which was initially written by Lord and Miller themselves and later worked on by Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg.
Given his experience helming colorful, exuberant animated properties, it’s easy to see why Warner Bros. opted to go with Mitchell. His proven track record likely bodes well for the visual style of The Lego Movie 2, and the studio’s decision to turn to a different filmmaker at this stage could be a sign it’s taking care not to squander audience goodwill acquired by the surprising success of the first film.
The sequel’s release was even pushed from May 2018 to Feb. 8, 2019, presumably to allow more time for development.
In the meantime, fans of the Lego franchise can see the first two of what will likely be many spin-offs when The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie hit theaters on Feb. 10 and Sept. 22, respectively.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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