Universal In Talks To Produce And Distribute New LEGO Movies, Taking Over From Warner Bros.

LEGO, one of the world's most recognizable toy brands, is currently looking for a new Hollywood home.

The company's deal with Warner Bros. expired earlier this year, and new reports indicate that LEGO is currently in talks with Universal for an exclusive partnership which would see them produce "a new batch" of LEGO movies. Dan Lin, who produced all four of WB's LEGO films, is in talks to stay on board as a producer.

The Hollywood Reporter says LEGO has been exploring its options for months, fielding pitches from multiple studios before officially entering talks with Universal. Its deal with Warner Bros. expired early this fall, and the implication is that LEGO didn't renew that pact because executives there were disappointed with the box office returns of the one-two punch of 2017's The LEGO Ninjago Movie and this year'sĀ The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.

Both of those projects underperformed compared to the first two entries in the WB deal, 2014's The LEGO Movie and 2017's The LEGO Batman Movie. That first film was so strong that it ended up at #64 on /Film's 100 Best Films of the Decade list ā€“ not bad for a movie which, on paper, sounded like an eye-roll inducing piece of corporate trash. But in a brilliantly meta touch, writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller used the movie as a way to explore the nature of creativity itself, resulting in a shockingly great piece of filmmaking. The LEGO Batman Movie is nowhere near as brilliant, but it's ambitious in an entirely different way ā€“ it's a legitimately excellent Batman story about finding family in unlikely places, and it's packed with so many rapid-fire jokes and visual gags that it'll make your cowl spin. It is, hands down, one of the zaniest movies of the 2010s.

It's unclear whether audience interest in LEGO movies has waned after the novelty of the animated brick style wore off, but the company is hoping that Universal can reinvigorate the franchise with a new batch of films. It's unclear at this stage what those movies will be, and it's also unclear if previously-announced projects like The LEGO Batman Movie 2 or The Billion Brick Race are still on the table. Personally, I would love to see Universal move away from the flashy approach and make some lower key genre movies that just happen to look like they're constructed with LEGOs ā€“ a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery, for example. I can see it now: "Elementary, my dear Blockson."