The LEGO Movie universe is getting some fresh blood. After the success of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2014 film, Warner Bros. began developing not only a sequel but also a series of spinoffs. The LEGO Batman Movie was the first out of the gate earlier this year, The LEGO Ninjago Movie hits theaters later this year, and The LEGO Movie Sequel is deep in development. But in 2015 Warner Bros. announced another spinoff called The Billion Brick Race, with Jason Segel and Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) writing and co-directing the featured based on an idea from Pearce.
We’d heard precious little about The Billion Brick Race in the ensuing years, and indeed now THR reports that Segel and Pearce are no longer involved and Jorge Gutierrez, the director behind the charming animated film The Book of Life, is now onboard to develop and direct. Plot details are still under wraps, and the focus on the word “develop” seems to suggest that either Segel and Pearce didn’t get very far in their development of the project or Warner Bros. is starting fresh.
Back in 2013, Warner Bros. Animation planned to produce one “high-end” animated film a year, forming a coalition of primarily live-action directors like Lord, Miller, Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors), John Requa and Glen Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins) to develop and direct the animated films. The only movies to actually come out of this group were The LEGO Movie and the underrated Storks, directed by Stoller, and this director change on The Billion Brick Race seems to suggest that filmmaker coalition may no longer exist.
There’s going to be a two-year gap between The LEGO Ninjago Movie and The LEGO Movie Sequel, and Warner Bros. no doubt now wants to shore up its slate of LEGO Movie sequels and spinoffs. A LEGO Batman Movie sequel seems an obvious bet, but it sounds like The Billion Brick Race may very well turn out to be one of the next films on the horizon.