Animation takes a long time. That’s why they’re already planning the fourth sequel to last year’s The Lego Movie. We’ve heard a bit about Ninjago, Lego Batman and The Lego Movie Sequel, but The Billion Brick Race was a late addition. Writer/director Drew Pearce told me a little about it while we spoke about his work on next week’s release MIssion: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
“Modestly, hopefully it will be the biggest race movie of all time,” Pearce said. “Imagine doing a race movie but having the ability to do it with Lego. So part Cannonball Run, part Wacky Races but with a real working class Rocky style blue collar vibe to it as well.”
Pearce is planning to do what Phil Lord and Chris Miller did when they made 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie simultaneously. He’s written the screenplay to The Long Run which he plans to direct, while he directs the animated process of Billion Brick Race.
“I came up with an original Lego idea, a completely standalone Lego movie, kind of out of nowhere. Then spoke to Phil and Chris and they’re exec’ing it. I’m directing that and Jason Segal and I are writing it. It won’t come out until so many years in the future that I might even be dead. It’s like 2019 that it’s coming out, and that will run along in the background of what I do which is hopefully write and shoot an original script.”
The Lego world allows standalone movies that won’t interfere with Emmet and Wyldstyle’s story. It could end up being the Mission: Impossible of animated franchises where a different director gets to do their take on each entry. By the time of the fifth Lego movie, will Billion Brick Race be as deconstructionist as the meta original is?
“In a weird way, the act of it being Lego is fundamentally, quite literally built into them being bricks,” Pearce said. “Chris and Phil just have this style that is constantly meta yet also deeply emotional and I think that’s brilliant. I think this will be a cross of my voice, which is more harder and narrative and action based, with Segal’s voice which is the beautiful warmth of the first Muppet movie, filtered through Chris and Phil’s amazing world of Lego they’ve created.”
More on Pearce’s work in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in the full interview next week.