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The LEGO Ninjago Movie teaser trailer: First look at the Lego Movie spinoff starring Jackie Chan Chan voices Sensei Wu in the film Tuesday 7 February 2017 16:10 GMT Launched in 1998, Lego’s Ninja series wasn’t exactly the company’s most popular range, being discontinued just two years later. However, in 2011, Lego decided to have another go at bringing ninja’s into childhood homes, releasing the TV series Ninjango alongside numerous toy sets. Six series of the TV show - not including two pilots and a special - were released by Cartoon Network, being watched by children around the world. Thanks to the success of The Lego Movie, Ninjango is being brought to the big screen, the first teaser trailer for which has just been released. Notably, Jackie Chan’s Sensei Wu makes a huge impression, while the six ninjas his character hires - voiced by Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods and Abbi Jacobson - also make a brief appearance.
Other voice actors who will appear as characters in Ninjango include Justin Theroux and Olivia Munn. Unlike the TV series, the animation for The Lego Ninjago Movie will be in the same vein as The Lego Movie and the recently released The Lego Batman Movie. The full trailer will be available tomorrow. The Lego Ninjago Movie was originally scheduled for 23 September 2016 release but was delayed by a year, until the 22 September 2017. 37 Films to get excited about in 2017 Meanwhile, Lego fans can catch The Lego Batman Movie in cinemas now. The LEGO Ninjago Movie The LEGO Batman MovieThe Lego Batman Movie has opened day and date in 60 markets this weekend and so far has pulled in $12 million at the box office. The animated pic is tracking 49% ahead of the first installment, enjoying the beginning of school holidays throughout Europe, and seeing what the studio says is “excellent numbers” across Asia where some countries in the market had sneaks over an early Chinese New Year period.
It is also outperforming the first installment in Eastern Europe and in Latin America even though kids are in school. When rolled out its original IP, The Lego Movie, in February 2014, it took 12 days to reach $200M worldwide. Now a known (and fan-based) franchise, the second installment should get there quicker. Lego Batman is on track for a domestic haul of $54M-$55M and while it’s surpassing Fifty Shades Darker in the U.S. by about $6M so far, overseas it’s a different story: Fifty Shades is really dominating the marketplace (see related story), having released two days earlier. The Lego Batman Movie is playing on 13,685 screens. In the UK, it is ranking No. 2 behind Fifty Shades Darker but nonetheless has grossed $1.1M from its 1,441 sites. Including previews leading up to release, the running cume is now $4M, on par with the first installment. Mexico generated a strong $489K on 968 screens (again, on par with the first installment), and also ranked No. 2 behind Fifty Shades.
In Spain, Lego Batman took in $220K on 406 screens, also No. 2 behind you know what, and coming in 5% ahead of the opening day for The Lego Movie. France has a running cume of$806K, ranking in the top five as school holidays continue to expand across the market. In Germany, it is also behind Fifty Shades for a No. 2 spot, with a two-day cume of $549K from 895 screens. Several additional states begin their holidays on Monday. Elsewhere, the Thursday-Friday cume in Brazil is now $453K from 777 screens and also No. 2 behind its nemesis from Universal Pictures. In Russia, it ranks No. 3 (behind Fifty Shades and John Wick 2) at $391K on 1,962 screens and in South Korea — where the country is enduring a cold snap — it is in the top five at least, with a running cume of $316K over two days from 465 houses. Finally, in the UAE, Lego Batman has a cume so far of $309K and a No. 2 spot.I’d say our style has been pretty consistent,” says Phil Lord on the phone from his publicist’s office in Beverly Hills.
“I’m not sure we made each film so much as got away with it.” “Like those Jump Street movies,” offers Christopher Miller, his writing and directing partner of 16 years. “I can’t believe they’re out there and made money.” “When we’d got so far in this business that we were making something called The Lego Movie and were getting to do very strange jokes in the middle of it… that’s, like, why we get up in the morning,” continues Lord. "Our career sometimes feels like a big, all-encompassing prank.” Clearly the directors of the aforementioned films, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and the forthcoming Han Solo spin-off movie in the Star Wars cinematic megaverse aren’t getting by on cheek alone. Also on their plate are an animated Spider-Man movie they're writing and producing for Marvel, a Flash movie for Warner Bros, several TV shows, and not forgetting the three Lego Movie spin-offs and sequels currently in development. But even their greatest admirers – of whom, full disclosure, I’m one – may have arched an eyebrow when it was announced last month that the twosome would be a star turn at this year’s Bafta Screenwriters’ Lecture Series, alongside such hallowed international auteurs as Kenneth Lonergan, Maren Ade and Park Chan-wook.
The pair are both 41 years old (they’ve been friends since university), but seem somehow spiritually suspended in mid-20s-hood: you’d less expect to see them declaiming from behind a lectern than sliding on their knees at the back of the hall. That’s largely because they’re funny – a bias Miller both recognises and bridles at. “Sometimes comedy feels like the kid brother of drama, trying to get attention by being the class jokester. But it’s actually really hard to tell a story while also making people laugh. It’s like trying to do two jobs at once.” Lord mentions a bone of wisdom that was recently slung at him by Lawrence Kasdan, the venerable Star Wars and Indiana Jones screenwriter with whom they (and also Kasdan’s son Jon) are collaborating on the Han Solo project. “Larry said once, ‘I never did a movie that I loved that wasn’t funny.’ By which he means, the best dramatic movies all have a sense of humour. Gosh, even Schindler’s List has one laugh in it.
A sense of humour is never a handicap.” Working on the Han Solo script with the Kasdans, they agree, has been something of a masterclass. “We’ve been trying to get the script to a stage where it reflects the tone and vision that the four of us have for the movie, and it’s really been the four of us figuring out what that voice is together,” says Miller. A new resource proved unexpectedly fruitful: the creature designers at Lucasfilm, whose ideas for the film’s various nonhuman characters gave Lord and Miller comic ideas to riff on. Lord recalls visiting the department one day and realising how potentially funny one alien’s movements might be – “so we got excited, and talked to Lawrence and Jon about it, and were able to fold that into the scene.” Their enthusiasm for sharing credit was there from the opening title card of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 2009, which read: “A film by a lot of people”. “All of our movies are collaborative efforts, and movies like this one take so many people to realise, and that work doesn’t happen in isolation,” says Miller.
“You’re always talking about the story, and those ideas constantly affect it.” The Han Solo film seems likely to continue the new Star Wars tradition of cast diversity: alongside Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the role Harrison Ford immortalised in 1977, and Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian, three actresses of colour – Tessa Thompson, Zoë Kravitz and Naomi Scott – are rumoured to have been shortlisted for the co-lead. /HlteYut6m0— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) May 4, 2016 Did they write diversity into the script? The answer’s yes, though in a very different way than you might imagine. “The needs of the story come first,” says Miller. “However, when we’re crafting a character we’re also trying to work out what the most specific, least generic, non-stock-version of that character might be. Then we start to talk about gender, ethnicity, their look, how they dress, and so on. Sometimes we might write with a specific actor in mind, and sometimes you know the character will just be her own thing, and trust you’ll find an actor who can fit it.
And then when you cast, you can go through the script again and tailor the dialogue to them.” “We try to stay as open-minded about casting as possible,” Lord continues. “When you’re getting things down on paper, you might even avoid writing down a name, let alone if they have blonde hair or this or that, to stop. The great ideas start flowing when you stop thinking about the obvious way of doing it.” That freedom is a standard part of the Lord and Miller Method. “We uncoupled the critiquing process from the creation process early on,” says Lord. “Creation is loose and open-minded, then come the moments where we’re much more self-critical.” Having each other as sounding boards helps. “Our advantage is that I’m not just trying to make myself laugh, I’m trying to make Phil laugh too,” says Miller. “And when something you put on the page is something we both stand by, when we go up against the Forces of Moviemaking, that have a tendency to shear the edges off things, we can be a little more insistent that we do it our way.”
That became particularly useful during the making of The Lego Movie – a best animation Bafta-winner in 2014 – which the two were determined shouldn’t feel like a corporate branding exercise. “We were keen that it felt like the people who were making this movie didn’t necessarily have permission to do it,” says Lord. In the end, they sold Lego on that hard-to-pitch aesthetic by showing them clips of unauthorised, fan-made Lego animations – “stuff that people had made in their basements because they were inspired,” Lord continues. “It became less about selling the toy than selling what the toy stands for. Engineering and creativity and” – he laughs, probably at the sentiment's swelling grandeur, but he’s right – “even democracy.” Those are serious aims for a film that in anyone else’s hands would have probably turned out to be a feature-length toy advert, but Lord and Miller learnt early that the wrong way to do things often turned out to be the best one.
Their first big break was the short-lived animated series Clone High: a spoof of American high school dramas starring teenage versions of resurrected historical figures, including Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln. Lord looks back on the gig as “a hard show that tested our friendship”, and notes that the pressure they felt manifested in their work in increasingly odd ways. In show 10 (of 13) they killed off the conquistador Juan Ponce de León, voiced by Luke Perry, and set out to make the aftermath of his death “as serious and chilling as possible”. To that end, the pair borrowed stretches of dialogue “almost verbatim” from the episode of the (entirely serious) teen drama Dawson’s Creek in which Dawson’s father dies: “lots of trauma, sadness, angst, pain and cosmic irony,” says Miller. The best way of skewering the show’s absurdity turned out to be copying it. “So there’s a good screenwriting tip,” adds Miller. “Why don’t you steal the work of other people?”