Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk THE LEGO MOVIE, the Alternate Cut, the Sequel, Making Two Movies at Once, 22 JUMP STREET, and More

     February 4, 2014


With directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller helming The Lego Movie, I was confident the animated film was going to be something special.  Even so, I will fully admit the film exceeded my lofty expectations.  Loaded with great animation, a fun story, humor for both kids and adults, and an insanely addictive song (“Everything is Awesome”) that you’ll be singing again and again, The LEGO Movie is truly something special and I’m beyond confident both audiences and critics are going to fall in love with the film.  If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s been made using a mix of stop-motion and CG animation and the pic revolves around Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), an ordinary construction worker who finds himself anointed “The Special”, a master builder who will lead a band of rebels to save the world from the evil President Business (Will Ferrell).  The film also features the voices of Elizabeth BanksMorgan FreemanLiam NeesonWill ArnettNick OffermanCharlie DayChanning TatumJonah HillAlison Brie, and many others.

At the recent press day for the film (which took place at LEGOLAND outside San Diego), I landed an exclusive video interview with Lord and Miller.  They talked about the positive reaction to the film, the reaction to the film at LEGO headquarters in Denmark, whether there were any characters that they wanted but couldn’t get, the first cut of the film, deleted scenes and an alternate cut made up entirely of different jokes, juggling making The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street at the same time, the final ratio of actual bricks to CGI shots, creating the song “Everything Is Awesome,” the possibility of a LEGO Movie sequel, The Reunion, the current status of the editing process of 22 Jump Street, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

the-lego-movie-chris-pratt-phil-lord-chris-millerPhil Lord and Chris Miller Time Index:

  • :11 – The reaction to the movie thus far.
  • :44 – What was the reaction to the LEGO company? They say it got a 5-minute standing ovation in Denmark. Talk about how skeptical they were of the film at first.
  • 1:48 – Were there any characters that they couldn’t get that they wanted to get?  They’re hoping those people change their minds if they get to do a sequel.
  • 2:41 – Talk about Benny and the 70s space stuff, which was mainly Phil’s idea.
  • 3:15 – How long was their first cut?  It was two hours at one point.
  • 4:16 – Talk about the process of cutting things out of the film.  They try to cut everything in storyboard first before animating, but there are some animated sequences that will be on the Blu-ray.
  • 4:37 – Chris says there’s an entire movie’s worth of crazy deleted jokes from the storyboard phase. Their dream is to release an alternate cut of the film with all different jokes.
  • 5:14 – Is it true that they did the movie just so they could have lifetime passes for Legoland?
  • the-lego-movie-phil-lord-chris-miller-elizabeth-banks5:52 – How did they juggle making The LEGO Movie at the same time as 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street? Talk about bringing Chris McKay onboard as co-director.
  • 8:12 – What was the final ratio of actual bricks to CGI shots?  Say it’s mostly CG but there’s a fair amount of stop-motion. The goal was making it so that you can’t tell the difference.
  • 9:27 – Talk about creating the song “Everything Is Awesome.”  It was in the initial script for the film.
  • 10:49 – What gift baskets have been sent to them from the people at Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Talk about how involved they were in the casting process.
  • 12:48 – The possibility of a LEGO Movie sequel. They say if it happens, they’ll probably be producing it.
  • 13:29 – The Reunion. They say it’s still happening and they hope it will be the next thing that Chris will direct.
  • 14:01 – 22 Jump Street. They’re very early in the editing process and they have a ton of footage because they shot on digital. They say one of the greatest fistfights in the history of cinema takes place in the third act and there’s a lot more action and helicopters than the first film. They also gave Jump Street a facelift so it looks like a Marvel movie.

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