LEGO used to have a cinematic home over at Warner Bros., but the deal between the plastic brick company and the WB expired last year. In December of 2019, word broke that LEGO was exploring a new deal with Universal – and now, it’s official. LEGO and Universal have just inked a five-year exclusive deal to develop, produce, and distribute LEGO-based films.
Deadline has the news on the Universal/LEGO deal, which opens up a whole new set of options for LEGO-based movies. Up until now, the LEGO films have operated under the blanket of Warner Bros., which enabled them to use characters like Batman and other WB-owned material. Now, the ball is in Universal’s court. Which means LEGO can co-opt Universal material like the Jurassic Park franchise and The Fast and the Furious, if it wants to. And if we’re really lucky, maybe we’ll get a LEGO Dark Universe movie.
“Universal’s commitment to unique storytelling from diverse voices makes the Studio the perfect partner as the LEGO Group enters this new phase of filmmaking,” said Jill Wilfert, Head of Entertainment of the LEGO Group. “Donna [Langley, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group] and the entire Universal team bring a sense of wonder and imagination we share, and we can’t wait to execute on our shared vision.”
“The LEGO System in Play gives people the ability to build worlds and create stories that they carry throughout every phase of their lives. To partner with such an iconic brand that remains relevant and is constantly evolving allows for creativity in storytelling. We’re thrilled to start building out the next chapter of LEGO movies together with Jill and the LEGO team as they continue to inspire curiosity and innovation.”
The LEGO movies have been big hits for Warner Bros., grossing $1.1 billion globally. Titles include the first LEGO Movie, which remains the best of the bunch; The LEGO Batman Movie, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, and The Lego Ninjago Movie. Those movies all remain within the WB library.
It’s worth noting that the Universal deal only applies to film. LEGO Land and LEGO theme park rights are still owned by Merlin (the company, not the mythical wizard who trained King Arthur).
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