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Universal Pictures isn’t quitting with toys and board games any time soon. With Battleship succeeding overseas, the studio has found a new toy to play with: Legos. While Warner Bros. is actively developing a CGI-animated Lego movie featuring traditional bricks and iconic yellow minifigs, this film will be live action and based on the Danish toymaker’s Hero Factory line.
For those of you that haven’t played with Legos in awhile, the Hero Factory line comprises about 55 sets that have been released since 2010. It emerged as a replacement to the company’s long-running Bionicle line of buildable action figures featuring Lego Technic pieces. Both lines are targeted at pre-teen boys with a greater emphasis on mythology and storytelling than other Lego products as evidenced by the various books, comics and direct-to-DVD animated films Lego has released featuring these products over the years.
The Hero Factory is an intergalactic station that creates robots purposed to defend its world from evil. Univeral is in negotiations with Predators writers Michael Finch and Alex Litvak to craft a story worthy of the big screen. Heat Vision says the duo has previously drafted a script based on Mattel toy line He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and is currently at work on a new Treasure Island for Fox.
Lego’s commercial viability has certainly grown now that two major feature films are in development stages. Thanks to the increasing number of properties the company has paired with (“Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” DC Superheroes—even the “Lord of the Rings” is forthcoming), the toy’s popularity is at an all-time high. Hero Factory, however, will only appeal to a specific niche and have minimal built-in audience, even compared to Bionicle, which existed for nearly 10 years. Universal probably hopes “galaxy-defending robots” will have wide enough appeal if marketed correctly, but it’s Lego’s global presence that probably played a big part in appealing to the studio.