This weekend the LEGO Ninjago Movie, the big screen adaptation of the brick system’s popular children’s show, hits theaters. Given the success of LEGO Batman earlier this year, plus the LEGO Movie’s sequel in the works, and the numerous direct to DVD/VOD hits they’ve produced — you know we have not seen the last of the LEGO-ization of films and film franchises.
So the staff of The Pop Break got together to do the following…
Come up with ideas for the next LEGO Movie Franchises…
The LEGO Horror Movie (Tommy Tracy)
The LEGO Horror Movie would be the absolute best thing to ever come out the beloved toy franchise. The LEGO games (and movies) give countless hours of entertainment, mixing stupid fun with puzzles and platforming, while also collecting gems and delivering incredibly fun (if not easy to follow) plot points.
The film would focus on a large array of LEGO-ized final girls (and guys) from classic horror films: Laurie Strode (Halloween), Sidney Prescott (Scream), Alice (Friday the 13th), Nancy (A Nightmare on Elm Street), amongst others, as they band together in an all-out night of survival against the likes of Jason, Freddy, Michael, Pinhead, etc.
So how does this work? Well, very easily. The LEGO series is, for the most part, about destruction. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: LEGO’s are for kids, and horror movies are not. The best part is, this doesn’t need to be a gore fest. Jason can kill a camp counselor and it doesn’t need to be violent. It could come off as comical (much like many of his latter kills), played for laughs rather than fear. When Regan throws up all over the room, the Lego priests can slip and slide, bumping into walls and falling over things. It can be as childish and innocent as possible.
The best part, at least to me, about these movies and games are the obscure references and characters littered throughout. Not every character has to be a mainstream killer. The film can include Leslie Vernon (seriously, if you haven’t seen Behind the Mask, see it), Victor Crowley (Hatchet) and Brenda Bates (Urban Legend). Yes, I’ve focused on slashers for the most part, but there is of course room for the classic Universal monsters, as well as the countless demons, vampires, zombies and ghosts we’ve seen throughout horror’s long run.
Is this idea out there? Sure. Will this ever get made? Probably not, but it’s a fun idea, and actually a very safe and fun way to introduce kids to horror without traumatizing them at a young age.
The LEGO Back to the Future Movie (Daryn Kirscht)
We live in a time that is in love with the style and fervor of the 1980’s. Whether it is rock music from the hair bands, converse sneakers, or television shows set in the ‘80s like Stranger Things making waves online. Now that the next Transformers spin-off movie, featuring Bumblebee, will be set in 1987, it only makes sense to continue to add to the cultural phenomenon – so why not bring back one of the cult-classics of the decade? While The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off would no doubt make fun LEGO versions, the one that pops the most is Back to the Future.
Since this is all hypothetical, I won’t go into the complications that could be involved with this actually happening, but rather focus on the multiple versions that would be a lot of fun to experience. One way the director and/or writer could take the story is the way of the original movie by having it take place in 1985 and feature the lovable characters Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown (“Doc”) in their original glory.
The other interesting way to take the story would be to have it take place in present day and go back to 1985. This could open up a plethora of different scenarios and outcomes, such as the new protagonist going back in time and maybe seeing the lego versions of Marty and Doc helping the new protagonist with their current quest. Since writer/director Robert Zemeckis was only one year off of his prediction of the Cubs winning the World Series, maybe we need another future prediction of some sort, right?
There is probably an even better plot that could be created from of this property, but that is my whole point. The original film is a lot of fun to watch and still holds up today. Since the filmmakers are having some “creative” difficulties bringing the property back to this current future, maybe the best way to bring it back is in the form of a successful lego film franchise.
The LEGO Dragon Ball Z Movie (Anthony Toto)
In regards to future LEGO cinematic endeavors, I would certainly give two thumbs up if the studio produced more films that reinterpret iconic pop culture franchises. Atop of my wish list, I would love to see LEGO partner with Toei Animation to create a Dragon Ball Z movie, or series. Yes, characters such as Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Frieza, and Krillin appeared in Lego Dimensions 3, but I yearn for a full-scale collaboration that showcases the vast amount of iconic heroes and villains across the DBZ Universe. The thought of seeing Lego Goku turn Super Saiyan is worth the price of admission alone.
Dragon Ball Z was a groundbreaking franchise that combined the most enthralling storytelling with innovative fight choreography and grade-A humor. As demonstrated by The LEGO Batman Movie, the creative team at the Warner Animation Group have certainly mastered this trinity of ingredients and as a die-hard fan of this franchise, I feel confident in the studio’s ability to expand upon the mythos of Dragon Ball Z.
Right off the bat, this would truly be a monumental collaboration since Dragon Ball Z played such a quintessential role in exposing international audiences to the beauty of anime. Even if the studio focused on the original Dragon Ball story arc, the entire franchise is cross-generational, and Goku is so unpredictable, which makes him such a captivating hero and leader. Without hesitation, he could shift from being the funniest comedian into the fiercest fighter across all twelve universes (catch my reference). I trust in someone like Chris McKay (Director of The Lego Batman Movie) to capture the antagonistic brotherhood between Goku and Vegeta, the father-son dynamic of Goku and Gohan, and the relentless opposition between Goku and Frieza.
If necessary, I will travel across this planet with my dragon radar, collect all seven Dragon Balls, and summon Shenron so we can turn this idea into reality. The power level of LEGO Dragon Ball Z would far exceed 9,000, and just saying, I am available for hire.
The LEGO Bond Movie (Matt Kelly)
Let’s look at what made LEGO Batman work?
Batman is a cultural touchstone.
Batman has 75 years of history.
Batman takes himself way too seriously.
Batman has a wealth of memorable villains.
Batman drives a lot of cars.
SO basically, Batman is ubiquitous and his films need to lighten up, especially recently. Also, the numerous recognizable vehicles provide LEGO with something to sell to fans, which you could argue is the larger purpose of these movies.
You know who else fits all of those qualifications? James Bond.
James Bond is spy movies. Films based on the Ian Fleming novels basically invented the genre and have inspired franchises that run the gamut from straight takes (Jason Bourne) to indulgent parodies (Austin Powers). But we have a problem. James Bond films have gone off the rails.
Modern Bond is obsessed with brooding and continuity. He doesn’t go on missions. Bond is after revenge. He barely has time for martinis and women and wordplay. You can argue that some of the movies are great (Casino Royale, and to a lesser extent, Skyfall), but they are lacking the fun that James Bond movies were known for. And while modern franchises like Kingsman and Archer have done a great job of emulating the classic Bond, the original needs a shot of adrenaline to bring the franchise back to life.
So, I propose a LEGO James Bond movie. The plot can go something like this:
After his plans are foiled for the hundredth time, SPECTRE leader Ernst Starvo Blofeld realizes that his schemes keep failing because his henchmen are incompetent dummies who are not capable of going toe to toe with Bond and thus assembles a supergroup of villains to take down the superspy once and for all. Heavy hitters like Dr. No, Odd Job, Silva, Le Chifre, Trevelyan, and even good ol’ Diamond Face team up with Blofeld and concoct a plan to destroy Bond and take over the world in the process.
At the same time, Bond is getting older. He realizes that the spy game is changing quickly and he begins to chase trends in a crowded field that may not have a place for him anymore. It’s only after Bond goes back to his gadget using, lady loving, martini drinking roots that he is able to defeat the villains that made him who he is. It’s Skyfall, but in reverse. Oh, and we would also randomly sub out different James Bond actors throughout the film with no warning or explanation.
It’s not for kids, but who said a LEGO movie needs to be? EON will make a ton of money in ticket sales, and LEGO will sell a million DB5 sets in the process. Everybody wins.
The LEGO Sitcom Movie (Daniel Cohen)
The mere mention of the word “sitcom” opens up a treasure chest of possibilities. These LEGO movies love to attack nostalgia like wolves on red meat. It doesn’t get more nostalgia than old sitcoms.
Alright, so here’s the breakdown: Much like The LEGO Movie, we introduce an everyman character, ala Emmet. Let’s call him Will. Will has an on again/off again romantic relationship with Beth. After their ninth breakdown, Will realizes his love life is just like the many sitcoms he watches in reruns. In order to save his relationship, Will decides to get some advice from an actual sitcom character. His journey takes him to the Sitcom-verse. That sounds like something these movies would do, right? Now this is where it gets weird.
Will decides the best person to help him is Ross Geller from Friends, who had the quintessential on again/off again sitcom relationship. So Will slides down the Friends tube or whatever, but through an error, he actually ends up in the middle of the critical scene in the series finale where Ross and Rachel finally get together for good. His interruption completely screws this up, and Rachel ends up leaving Ross for good. This one event has a ripple effect on the entire Sitcom-verse continuum, sending it completely out of whack.
Not only are series finales (old and new) completely disrupted, but now sitcom characters are shifting shows all over the place! Imagine if Archie Bunker replaced Danny Tanner in Full House, or what if Dean Pelton from Community was teaching the Sweat Hogs in Mr. Kotter’s class. That’s the level of insanity getting discombobulated.
So now Will and Ross have to figure out how to get the sitcom-verse back in order. They travel around Sitcom land trying to get to the only person who can help – a mystical figure who knows every nook and cranny of television sitcoms, known simply as “The Guide.” See where I’m going with this?
Will and Ross would certainly encounter many colorful characters, original and recycled, throughout the movie, but of course, in the end, Will learns the true meaning of sitcoms and the power they hold. It helps him in his own life, yadda, yadda, yadda. In fact, that would be a funny way to end – with a Seinfeld Yadda/Yadda.
There you go.
The LEGO 80s Action Movie (Lucas Jones)
The next LEGO franchise NEEDS to be 80s Action Movie. The success of the Ninjago movie shows that the LEGO franchise can take on an entire genre, and there is no better genre than the 80’s action movie. Predator, Commando, Rambo, Bloodsport, and so many other movies defined a generation with their over-the-top machismo, ridiculous action sequences, cheesy dialogue, and never ending ammo supplies.
One of the other perks to doing a genre movie is that you can have an ensemble cast similar to The Expendables, and not have to choose one franchise or star. Many of these actors are still alive today, and would undoubtedly be interested in another reunion, especially one that would be a lot easier to accomplish.
The Lego set possibilities are endless, as basically every character introduced can come with an entire set. Imagine being able to recreate the traps in Predator, or the final shootout in Commando. Feel like being on the side of the bad guys? Grab Ivan Drago and team him up with Lord Humungus and The Terminator for a diverse (if not slightly out of place) dream team of terror.
Since most movies today are made with the expectation of a merchandizing run, being able to tap into that wide of a market, and appeal to an older crowd would be a big hit.
The LEGO Paradisa Movie (Melissa Jouben)
Before there was LEGO City there was LEGO Town, and during the heyday of LEGO Town was a little-known subtheme called Paradisa. During a period of time known as the early nineties, where girls were diverted from playing with “boy” toys by offering them a similar option, only in pink, Paradisa filled that more feminine niche in the Lego market.
Whereas Town was offering up airports and construction zones, Paradisa was churning out sets where you could build cabanas, country clubs, cafes and cool motorboats. It faded away into obscurity before the end of the decade, but it actually contributed some long-lasting improvements to LEGO as a whole. Just for starters, it gave us more feminine options on mini-figures like ponytails, eyelashes and strappy tops.
Thanks to the ocean-theme, there were baseplates on which you could build ocean-front property. That property, of course, would have to be pink and purple and green because those were Paradisa’s colors. The offerings in this theme were extremely unique, albeit a little bit specific to the time period in which it was released considering that the whole “pastel beach” vibe died when Paradisa did. It folded, and although parts of its legacy lived on, Paradisa became a distance memory.
But that’s exactly why I think Paradisa is a perfect setting for a future Lego movie. Think about it: The Lego film franchise’s appeal relies heavily on nostalgia and capturing reminders of youth. At this point, pretty much all of entertainment is just one big nostalgia factory, reproducing updated versions of our cherished childhood memories. Maybe Paradisa doesn’t really belong in the category of “cherished childhood memories,” but it shares a lot in common with things that do. It’s a blank slate on which to project as much late 80’s/early 90’s nostalgia as we can handle.
Those pastel beach vibes you thought were dead? We can’t get enough of them right now! Remember Miami Vice? Let’s do Miami Vice, except with Legos, and also make it child friendly! Not enough? Throw in some references to 90’s hip hop. I give you one more idea for free and Warner Brothers is going to owe me a “story by” credit when this thing gets greenlit.
Lego should at least consider the possibility of resurrecting one of their own properties in the form of a late 80’s-early 90’s nostalgia, baiting a Miami Vice-esque action/crime blockbuster. Sure, the momentum on these types of films, like this summer’s Baywatch, may be waning, but trying it with Legos can put a very exciting twist on a formula that once seemed like a proven success. Maybe they’d be reluctant to stake an entire film around a line of Lego sets that ultimately failed, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that society is back to a point where we’d love to live on an island. An island where nobody has a trouble in the world, in our pink houses overlooking the ocean, being served cocktails at the Cabana bar by well-trained monkeys.
LEGO Jurassic Park (Bill Bodkin)
So, this would probably be one of the most feasible LEGO movies to do. Why? Because LEGO has already teamed up with GooglePlay to do a Jurassic World mobile game.
So you’ve got the tech, you’ve got the dinosaurs in the can — let’s just come up with a story.
Why not get the ‘whole gang’ back together — Owen Grady and Claire Dearing from Jurassic World, and Doctors Grant, Malcolm, and Sattler from the original film (yes I’m forgetting the cast of the second and third films). Have them be some sort of super team that heads back to the Park, on some sort of research/rescue mission. Maybe they’re trying to save the dins from being poached, or stolen.
Does the plot really matter? NO! It’s LEGO dinosaurs, how cool is that?
For the cast — Chris Pratt is already in the LEGO universe, and he and Bryce Dallas Howard are already reprising their roles in the Jurassic World sequel, can’t see why they’d turn this down. Outside of Laura Dern possibly (who is crazy busy), I couldn’t see Neil or Goldblum, especially Goldblum, turning this down. In fact, if only Goldblum came back — perfectly fine. Listening to him and Pratt banter would be gold.
This can easily be geared towards a younger audience like the live action filsm already are, and think of all the sets they could make!!