Some people may wonder why a movie idea like, say, Battleship gets raked over the coals while a film built on LEGOs gets the benefit of the doubt. The reason partially has to do with the absurdity of basing a movie on a game where you call out letters and numbers with no story attached to it versus a toy that has a lot of different characters and environments built in. The rest of the reason is that Phil Lord and Chris Miller – the writer/directors behind LEGO: The Piece of Resistance are Midas ever since Clone High. Their track record is unimpeachable, and it’s only grown in respect after Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street (a movie concept that wasn’t totally given the optimism treatment early on).
According to Deadline Hollywood, the animated movie’s cast – which already boasts Chris Pratt and Will Arnett – just signed Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth Banks. Freeman will voice a character named Vitruvius, who may or may not be a reference to the Roman architect of the same name (one Leonardo da Vinci invoked with his Vitruvian Man). That’s beyond speculation, although the idea of riffing on an architect might fit into a story based on toy building materials.
Regardless of what we think the roles may be, Freeman and Banks are excellent additions. It’s sad that we’ve come to a point in major studio animated work where professional voice actors are out of the running for the big roles, but it’s a silver lining that this production in particular is going after solid talent.