Warner Bros. served up all kinds of awesome during the company’s Time Warner Investors Day earlier today. First up, we had the shotgun blast of superhero-related release dates, followed by news regarding the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now, though, WB has detailed franchise plans for its lucrative series of LEGO-branded films.
Following up on this year’s acclaimed The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. now plans to release three films in the series across the next four years. Kicking things off will be the long rumoured ninja-themed spinoff, Ninjago, which is due to hit theaters in the fall of 2016. Hot on the heels of Ninjago will be the recently-announced LEGO Batman animated flick — a project that looks to be fast-tracked at Warner Bros. ahead of a 2017 release. This then paves the way for a direct follow-up to Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s film, with The LEGO Movie 2 expected to launch in the summer of 2018.
Phew! Warner Bros. has really set out its animated stall, eh? Still, this string of news should come as no surprise; after all, The LEGO Movie soared to $468 million worldwide when it released earlier this year, and is widely regarded by critics as one of the best animated films in recent memory. At this stage, it’s unclear which members of the eclectic cast will venture over into the Ninjago and Batman spinoffs, but we’ll certainly hear more of these feature-length projects further down the line.
In terms of talent behind the camera, we understand that Chris McKay will step in to direct the aforementioned LEGO Batman film in lieu of Miller and Lord, and it looks as though The Caped Crusader could occupy the space left by LEGO Movie 2, which was originally planned to debut on May 26th, 2015. In pushing the sequel back to 2018, Warner Bros. may be hoping to attract Miller and Lord back for the next block-building adventure, though it remains to be seen whether the creative pairing will sign on for the sequel.
Above all, I guess when it comes to The LEGO Movie, that old Hollywood adage has proven true: “One good film deserves another franchise.”