translating Hollywood: the greenlighting of the Lego movie

Lego Indiana Jones

You may have read the Variety article this week about the Lego movie Warner Bros. just greenlit. But did you understand what it was really saying? Here’s a translation (emphasis in quotes mine):

Warners greenlights ‘Lego’ feature
Building blocks snap into place for 2014 release plan
By Dave McNary
Warner Bros. is building up its “Lego” movie, greenlighting the animated-live action hybrid for a release in 2014.

We are deploying puns to cover up our shame at having to report this. With the right amount of wit, the pain recedes for just a few moments.

Studio has tapped Oz vfx-toon house Animal Logic to do the animation, which is expected to comprise 80% of “Lego.”

No, that’s not “comprised 80% of Lego.” Yeah, we also thought when we first heard this that it was gonna be one of those stop-motion Lego-animated movies, like the kids are all into on the YouTube. But no. So not.

Officials from New South Wales are expected to unveil details of the “Lego” movie at a Sydney news conference next week, coinciding with the start of production.

They’re rushing to finish the script, but the dozen hacks working on it don’t have a single decent idea among them. But that won’t stop this juggernaut from barreling ahead. After all, Warner Bros. has booked the conference room already, and no one likes to lose a deposit by cancelling at the last minute.

Warner Bros. has not yet set a specific release date.

Warners actually has more junior VPs — every single one of them somebody’s useless nephew — working on voodooing out the best release date than they have working on the script.

“Lego” has been in development at Warner Bros. since 2008, when the studio began working with the toymaker on a family comedy based on the popular building blocks with Dan Lin and Roy Lee producing and the writing team of Dan and Kevin Hageman tapped to pen the script. In 2010, Warners brought on the “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to write and direct.

That’s right: they’ve been working on this for three years with two different creative teams. You’d think they’d get a clue that this tub of excreted polymer has no hope in hell of not crashing and burning, but there’s still tens of millions of dollars to be spread around before the accountants declare this one not-profitable. Do you know how many useless nephews there are running around Hollywood needing to be ungainfully employed?

Plot details for “Lego” — an action-adventure set in the Lego world — remain under wraps.

In other words: No one has any fucking idea what this movie is about, but Warners can whip up fanboy hysteria if it acts all secretive.

Casting for the live-action characters is set to begin in January.

Yes, we’re staying up late at night worrying about this, too. Please god tell us no one has been on the phone to Seann William Scott’s people about the heroic-comic lead. Let it not be Tara Reid as the scientist investigating the strange blocks falling from the sky.

Lego and WB have partnered for several years producing Batman toys and videogames and will launch a new set of playthings around next summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” through the Lego Batman collection. “Lego Batman: The Videogame,” published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, has sold more than 12 million units since 2008.

Corporate synergy: that’s what it’s all about. Do you know what sort of tax writeoff Warner Bros. will get when it dumps $100 million worth of unsellable Lego-movie-branded Seann William Scott and Tara Reid figures in Eastern Europe orphanages? It’ll make you want to slit your wrists.

During Comic-Con in July, the studio announced an expanded relationship with Lego, granting the toymaker access to DC Entertainment’s complete library of comicbook characters and stories to launch DC Universe superheroes as figures and playsets in January.

So don’t think you can escape the Adam Strange Lego movie, coming Summer 2016!

We are all doomed.

(h/t @SciFiMafia. Lego Indiana Jones by Alex Eylar.)

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