Will The LEGO Movie 3 happen? Maybe another, more important, question should precede this one: Will any more LEGO movies happen at all? The future of the LEGO movie franchise may be in doubt.
Here’s all we know about the future of LEGO on film.
FROM WARNER TO UNIVERSAL
As we reported earlier this year on the LEGO Batman Movie 2, movie life with LEGO remains up in the air. For the longest time, Warner Bros. held the exclusive rights to the LEGO property, creating fun family films that also caught the eye of many adults. It was a billion-dollar entity that Warner eventually gave up on, allowing Universal to swoop in and cut their own five-year deal with the toy giant, putting not only The LEGO Movie 3 in doubt but every sequel to every LEGO film released so far.
The move was a head-scratcher for some. The franchise started hot, red hot, but as time moved on and more movies were produced, the returns have been on the decline. The first LEGO Movie, on its $60 million budget, brought in rave reviews and over $468 million worldwide. The Will Arnet-led The LEGO Batman Movie was almost as impressive, bringing in just as rave reviews and close to $315 million worldwide. But then the dip. Or the drop. Or the bottom. The LEGO Ninjago Movie arrived and on its $80 million budget only managed to haul in a mere $123 million across the globe.
Unfortunately for Warner and LEGO, the disappointment didn’t stop there. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part premiered in early 2019 with some critics describing it as a “franchise-ending box office failure.” Hopes were high for this sequel since the first LEGO Movie was such a hit. But this one only earned Warner a measly $192 million worldwide. What had looked like a sure thing and a franchise that could go toe-to-toe with other big franchises suddenly was not. This caused pause on Warner’s side, giving Universal the chance to jump on in.
THE LEGO MOVIE 3 ON HOLD
On hold. That is where many of the future LEGO movie projects, including The LEGO Movie 3, have been put. There had been early confirmation of a movie called The Lego Brick Race aka The Billion Brick Race, but that one has since been given the kibosh.
The LEGO Batman Movie 2 has been announced and it appears that this film is still possibly moving forward with a 2022 release, but at this point, it is still up in the air. Back to The Billion Brick Race, its would-be director Jorge R. Gutierrez decided that since his movie was no longer part of Warner and Universal wasn’t moving forward with it, he’d release a look at the characters who were going to be part of that film. They can be seen here.
THE LEGO MOVIE 3‘S FUTURE
So will there be a The LEGO Movie 3? According to the voice of LEGO Batman via Metro, Will Arnett, the conversation has been had. “I think there’s been a lot of broad conversations that are going in a lot of different directions. I think once this film finally comes out we can finally take a breath and take stock of where we are and say what we want to do.”
He went on talking about The LEGO Movie 3, “Of course ultimately that’s up to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Because they are truly the gate-keepers of the franchise. Then I think a conversation will start, ‘Is this something we want to continue to do? What would we do?’ That will all start to take shape. Whatever it is, I think those guys will only do it if they can find something that really feels like it is organically appropriate for the story. If it isn’t they won’t do it.”
Of course, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (infamous for their firing from the Star Wars movie Solo) are the writers and directors of the first two LEGO movies as well as The Lego Batman Movie. Lord weighed in, also via Metro, on the second movie and also the possibility of a The LEGO Movie 3. “Well we made a first movie that was really about originality and creativity. So we knew that we couldn’t just do the same thing over again and just call it a day. We wanted to spend more time with the characters that we knew. But also bring the audience something fresh and unique and have a bunch of surprises in there.”
He then said of a possible The LEGO Movie 3, “It took a long time to figure out the story for that and what we could do that would be surprising and fun. So the truth is that we love these characters, they’re like family to us and I want to see where they go next so I will always be interested in telling more stories with them.”
There you have it. The LEGO Movie 3 is still part of the big unknown. If you’re a betting person, you may want to put some coins (bitcoins, gold coins, maybe just not U.S. coins) on it because a company such as Universal is not going to sign a five-year deal with LEGO only to have it sit. They are going to want some kind of return. Chances are they’ll get it.