August 12, 2009 / 8:21 AM / 10 years ago

Lego ready for its big-screen close-up

The Lego logo is seen at the entrance to Legoland theme park near the corporate headquarters in Billund in this February 1, 2008 file photo.REUTERS/Bob Strong

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Warner Bros. is building a Lego movie.

The studio and producer Dan Lin have acquired theatrical rights for a motion picture based on the timeless toy, and hired writers Dan and Kevin Hageman to pen the script.

The live-action/CG-animated movie project is described as being set in the world of Lego. It will center on the idea of a child-like imagination and examine themes of creativity and teamwork in the manner of “Toy Story.” The picture will have elements for children, but the studio is hoping it also will play to adults.

The Lego development project continues what has been a veritable craze for toy-based movies, a trend that flowered at the box office this past weekend with the $56 million opening of “G.I. Joe,” the Hasbro toy that became a Paramount hit, and has extended into lesser-known toys like the View-Master, which is being developed as a feature at DreamWorks.

The Hagemans are set to adapt the ensemble monster movie “Hotel Transylvania” for Sony and also are adapting the genre tale “Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom” for Warner Bros.

Lego began in the 1940s as a toy popular with Europeans and eventually proved successful across the globe. The company, which remains a privately controlled firm based in Billund, Denmark, has over the years maintained its core lines of building blocks even as it has expanded into robots, space stations and other theme-driven products.

The toy has always had a presence of sorts in and around Hollywood. A handful of direct-to-DVD CGI pics have been distributed through the home-video arms of companies such as Universal and Miramax, and it also has offered children’s videogame tie-ins with high-profile features like “Star Wars.”

The only Legoland in North America is in Carlsbad, Ca., south of Los Angeles. But a big-screen feature has never been attempted.

Warners is keen on developing live-action/CG hybrids: it’s also behind a big screen remake of “Yogi Bear” as well as a reboot of the Don Knotts mermaid movie “The Incredible Mr. Limpet,” which live-action/CG expert Kevin Lima will direct.

Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters

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