Universal Pictures has completed a five-year exclusive deal to develop new film franchises with the LEGO Group.
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley and LEGO Group Head of Entertainment Jill Wilfert announced the new partnership between both companies on Thursday. The deal will see Universal develop, produce, and theatrically distribute films based on the intellectual property and original concept from the LEGO Group.
Jill Wilfert will serve as a producer on all of the projects developed and released by Universal under the new deal, with Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich serving as producers alongside Wilfert on the next project based on the toy property. In a statement, Jill Wilfert explained why Universal is the perfect company for the Group to partner with on future film projects:
“Universal’s commitment to unique storytelling from diverse voices makes the Studio the perfect partner as the LEGO Group enters this new phase of filmmaking. Donna and the entire Universal team bring a sense of wonder and imagination we share, and we can’t wait to execute on our shared vision.”
Universal’s Donna Langley made the following statement on the new partnership:
“The LEGO System in Play gives people the ability to build worlds and create stories that they carry throughout every phase of their lives. To partner with such an iconic brand that remains relevant and is constantly evolving allows for creativity in storytelling. We’re thrilled to start building out the next chapter of LEGO movies together with Jill and the LEGO team as they continue to inspire curiosity and innovation.”
Both companies have previously collaborated on television projects such as Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit and the 13-ep miniseries LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar.
The toy company has already experienced box office success with Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part 2 collectively earning $1.1 billion worldwide. Those titles will remain in the Warner Bros. library.
However, Deadline notes that when one of the LEGO projects didn’t move forward, the clock expired on the agreement and Universal quickly became the leading studio in the pursuit of obtaining the film rights for future LEGO movies. According to the outlet Universal is hoping to cross-pollinate its own titles such as the Jurassic Park films or Universal Monsters with the toy brand.
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