One of the most surprising movie hits in recent years is The LEGO Movie. The idea of a theatrical film based on the LEGO brand sounded ludicrous at first, but directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord successfully created a unique world with lovable characters. The movie was a critical and commercial success, furthering the advancement of the LEGO brand. It was so successful, Warner Bros. is in the process of creating a LEGO cinematic universe with sequels and spin-offs. Currently, we have Ninjago coming out in 2016, The LEGO Batman Movie in 2017, The LEGO Movie 2 in 2018, and the recently announced Billion Brick Race in 2019.
Of course, assuming that these films are also successful, don’t expect the LEGO phenomena to stop there. Below, I’ve compiled a list of a few potential options for more spin-offs to The LEGO Movie.
LEGO will be putting out Scooby-Doo sets later this year, with animated direct-to-video movies and a 22 minute special also in development. Assuming that these are well-received, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Scooby and the gang appear in the LEGO Movie universe. This is especially doable since Warner Bros. owns the Scooby-Doo franchise, which is one of the most iconic in animated history.
Scooby-Doo headlined a couple of live action movies more than a decade ago. Over the past couple years, WB put both a new animated movie and a live action film reboot in development. I think we can all agree that Scooby-Doo works best in the format of animation. And one way to freshen the animation style would be to go the LEGO route.
LEGO Justice League
The second spin-off in the LEGO franchise will be The LEGO Batman Movie, which will see Will Arnett return as the Caped Crusader. However, it would be cool to see the entire LEGO Justice League assembled in their own film later on. Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern all made appearances in The LEGO Movie, while The Flash and Aquaman both made blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos. Reuniting these heroes and including other DC favorites (Cyborg? Green Arrow?) could be a lot of fun.
The Justice League has appeared in many forms of LEGO media, including the LEGO Batman video game series and DTV movies. Capitalizing on that success with a theatrical film would make sense financially, and with the DC Cinematic Universe expected to be in full swing by the end of the decade, LEGO-izing the brand would be one way to keep it fresh. Plus, it could spawn a slew of other superhero spin-offs - The LEGO Superman Movie, The LEGO Green Lantern Movie, etc.
LEGO Lord of the Rings/Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings franchise is one of the biggest and most beloved in cinematic history. The Hobbit trilogy was another commercial success, even if it was not as well received by critics. While all four books have been adapted, it wouldn’t be surprising if Warner Bros. tried to find other ways to cash in on this property. Enter the LEGO treatment.
Both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit received LEGO sets and video games. In fact, Gandalf is one of the Master Builders seen in The LEGO Movie, while “Middle Zealand” was one of the realms referenced in the film. So, at least some of these characters definitely exist in this universe. Seeing that mythology explored, this time in LEGO form, could be interesting to see.
LEGO Adventurers, which starred explorer Johnny Thunder, was a theme that was discontinued back in 2003. These sets mostly focused on real-world locations, such as Egypt and the Himalayas, as well as the fantastical Dino Island. As a brand that has been inactive for over a decade, this would surely be an unusual choice for a big screen adaptation.
However, Johnny Thunder briefly appeared as a Master Builder in The LEGO Movie, while “Dino Island” was one of the referenced realms. A Thunder minifigure even appeared in the “Super Secret Police Dropship” set. So, there’s clearly some interest in the property. A LEGO Adventurers spin-off film could be a nice change of pace, as it could serve as a slightly more grounded installment of the LEGO series. Plus, Johnny Thunder could serve as an alternative for Indiana Jones, a character Warner Bros. most likely can’t use due to the rights being at Disney. And who knows, perhaps a potential movie could serve as a comeback for the Adventurers brand.
MetalBeard was a key supporting character in The LEGO Movie, establishing the existence of pirates in this world. There is also “Pirates Cove,” which is one of the many realms mentioned. Additionally, Pirates is one of LEGO’s currently running set themes. A spin-off film starring a group of pirates would be interesting; think of it as Pirates of the Caribbean geared towards a younger audience.
A LEGO Pirates movie has several potential plot options. Maybe it could focus on one of MetalBeard’s adventures before (or after) he built his robotic body. Or it could star a whole new crew of pirates on an epic overseas mission. Pirates could add a neat new flare to the LEGO movie universe, having exciting adventures and more.
Another currently ongoing LEGO theme is Castle, which features knights, dragons and more. The LEGO Movie featured a handful of knights, while one of the realms referenced was “Knight’s Club.” Like Pirates, a LEGO Castle movie spin-off has plenty of storytelling potential.
Imagine a LEGO film focused on two kingdoms at war in a medieval-style epic. Then throw dragons into the mix. It would be an entertaining way to explore the fantastical side of the LEGO universe, especially if we don’t see much, if any, more from the Lord of the Rings world in future movies. It could also serve as a more family-friendly type of fantasy epic, offering alternatives to the likes of LOTR and Game of Thrones.
Atlantis was a LEGO theme that was centered around the mythological city of the same name. It was launched in 2010 and then discontinued. The sets focus on a group of undersea explorers who stumble upon Atlantis, as well as Atlantean warriors. It sounds like an interesting plot for a LEGO spin-off, and with “Atlantis” being named as a realm in The LEGO Movie, it doesn’t sound too far-fetched.
The world of Atlantis could add yet another unique corner to the LEGO universe, with its fantastical sea creatures and underwater kingdom. And with Aquaman making a (very) brief cameo in The LEGO Movie, you know he would have to show up in this type of spin-off.
Finally, we have one of LEGO’s most recognizable themes. Bionicle was launched in 2001, and it was rebooted with brand new sets this year. It is a franchise that has spawned tie-ins of books, comics, direct-to-video movies and more. However, Bionicle has yet to get the big screen treatment. With the brand making a comeback this year and the LEGO movie universe in full swing, it’s time to remedy that.
Bionicle was briefly referenced in The LEGO Movie as a realm that the characters did not “need to mention.” Whether or not this rules out Bionicle characters eventually appearing in this world is unclear, but it would be a shame if it was. The Bionicle brand has a rich mythology, making it one of the most obvious choices for at least one spin-off film.
Of course, these are only a few paths Warner Bros. could take to expand the LEGO cinematic universe. There are countless others. Imagine a LEGO Sherlock Holmes adventure film, or a LEGO adaptation of Harry Potter or Speed Racer. Heck, maybe the studio could find big screen potential in other ongoing LEGO themes, such as Ultra Agents or Chima. Plenty of opportunities here. It will be fascinating to see which directions WB will go.
Which spin-off from The LEGO Movie would you like to see?