Warner Bros. is turning The Lego Movie and the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into semiannual film franchises over the next six years, and the company detailed its release plans today during a Time Warner investors meeting.
Following the massive success of The Lego Movie, which hit theaters in February and pulled in over $468 million worldwide, Warner Bros. Pictures plans to release three Lego movies over the next four years. The lineup will begin in 2016 with Ninjago, which is based on the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu line of Lego that debuted in 2011 alongside a Cartoon Network series of the same name. The movie will be directed by Charlie Bean (Tron: Uprising) and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Chris Miller; Lord and Miller directed The Lego Movie.
Traveller's Tales has multiple Lego Batman video games to its credit, and Batman will be the focus of his own Lego film, The Lego Batman Movie, in 2017. It will be directed by Chris McKay (Robot Chicken). Batman was voiced by Will Arnett in The Lego Movie. That film will get its own sequel, The Lego Movie 2, in 2018. The release window represents a notable delay: Shortly after the original film's launch, Warner Bros. announced a release date of May 26, 2017, for the sequel.
Warner Bros. announced in September 2013 that it was working on a film series based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Hogwarts textbook in the Harry Potter fiction that became real when author J.K. Rowling published it in 2001 for charitable causes. Three movies in the Fantastic Beasts franchise are in development at Warner Bros., with release windows currently set for 2016, 2018 and 2020. The series takes place 70 years before the seven Harry Potter novels. Rowling is writing the screenplay for the first film, which will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies.
Kevin Tsujihara, the chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, announced the aforementioned movie slate today alongside a comprehensive schedule for films based on DC Comics properties. Movies for The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Suicide Squad are among 10 comic book films that Warner Bros. is planning to launch between 2016 and 2020.