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Lego David

What LEGO Theme would you adapt in a Live-Action Movie?

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If you were a movie director, and you wanted to adapt a LEGO Theme into a live-action movie, what LEGO theme would you choose?

If I could do so, I would personally adapt Dino Attack into a R-rated movie. What about you?

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3 hours ago, Lego David said:

If you were a movie director, and you wanted to adapt a LEGO Theme into a live-action movie, what LEGO theme would you choose?

If I could do so, I would personally adapt Dino Attack into a R-rated movie. What about you?

Well, what's the point of a movie based upon an idea/concept that would potentially have nothing to do with the Lego medium outside of the sets? Technically, it'd just be another generic action/adventure movie. :def_shrug: To answer your question less directly though, the type of live-action movie I'd direct would be either a situational comedy/drama about AFOLs or a biopic about The LEGO Group in some way. :classic:

P.S. I think this topic should've been posted in the LEGO Media and Gaming subforum instead. :wink:

Edited by Digger of Bricks

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If I can modify the question into 'what theme I would add into the Lego-Movies', I'd go with Fabuland. Just the way depicted here:D
Could work with a live-action movie, too^^

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Galidor. If you're intent on making something live-action why not go with something that started out that way?

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I'd love to see Castle adapted.  Preferably this would be episodic, because there's a lot to go through.

Story-wise, start with Classic Castle and go through the Dragon Masters era with the dragons and Majisto.  Delve into the different factions (Crusaders, Black Falcons, Black Knights / Dragon Masters) and their backstories, alliances, and conflicts.  Use the Forestmen and Wolfpack as well.

Don't necessarily use the sets and minifigures as they were.  Re-imagine them in a modern LEGO context.  Give them better pieces, better prints, better building techniques.  Make an AFOL recreation of what Castle would be like if it came out today.  Then release new sets based on the series.

As for the tone of the series, make it more mature.  I'm not talking Game of Thrones, because I'm aware enough to understand that something like that is not going to come from LEGO (and it's a bit more than I would want to see from a LEGO production).  For an example of the maturity I'm talking about, I find The LEGO Movie to be more mature than the LEGO Batman Movie.  Even the LEGO Ninjago Movie is a bit more mature.  But the Ninjago, Nexo Knights, and Elves television shows are infantile by comparison.  It's OK to have fun, to have jokes and gags, but don't overdo it or make it too cheesy or goofy.  Make sure to keep it grounded and try to include a positive (possibly heartwarming) message.

If it was done well, I would watch every episode and still want more.  I would buy every set (within my budget).

All of that said, Castle is a (large) niche within the LEGO niche, so I don't ever expect to see anything this wonderful in my lifetime.

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I'd like to see the Adventurers theme (which began as a shameless rip-off of Indiana Jones) made into an intentionally cheesy (musical?) parody of the entire adventure genre. Think Johnny Thunder and Sam Sinister singing about what they'll do with the treasure they're hunting.

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Architecture. It has the most live-action potential.

Starring:

Eddie Murphy: Empire State building

Judi Dench: Buckingham Palace

Diane Kruger: Brandenburg Gate

Jean Reno: Eiffel Tower

Harrison Ford: Sears Tower

Rose Byrne: Sydney Opera House

etc.

All dressed in cheesy building costumes and walking around talking as the buildings.

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4 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Well, what's the point of a movie based upon an idea/concept that would potentially have nothing to do with the Lego medium outside of the sets? Technically, it'd just be another generic action/adventure movie. :def_shrug: To answer your question less directly though, the type of live-action movie I'd direct would be either a situational comedy/drama about AFOLs or a biopic about The LEGO Group in some way. :classic:

I mean, the idea that there'd be no point to that only holds water if you think how much a movie has to do with the LEGO medium is the sole measure of its merit. I like The LEGO Movie franchise as much as the next person, but I also enjoy Marvel movies, Star Wars movies, etc. that aren't LEGO-based to begin with. So why would a film like the LEGO Movie that is inherently inspired by LEGO as a creative, play, and storytelling medium be the ONLY appropriate way to adapt a LEGO theme's story into a movie?

To put it another way: do you think the Pokémon movies would be better if they were based on the actual experience of playing Pokémon on a Nintendo Game Boy, instead of on the fantasy world and characters within the games themselves? Certainly a movie about the experience of playing Game Boy games could be interesting if done right, but it's far from the only approach to creating a movie adaptation of a video game. Similarly, a movie about the expereince of playing with LEGO sets and parts is far from the only way to make a movie adaptation of a LEGO theme.

All that said… I'm not really sure which LEGO themes would really be suited to live action specifically. For the most part they'd have to be chosen from some of the more character- and/or story-driven themes (e.g. LEGO Bionicle, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Elves, etc), since when you take away the blockiness of many of the more archetypical themes like LEGO Castle and LEGO City, they mostly become generic and often strangely simplified/sanitized versions of the real-world subjects and fictional genres that inspired them.

What's more, even among the story-driven themes, the appeal of many is driven partly by their bright colors and cartoonish visual design. Translating them into characters who look like real people might potentially lose that sense of authenticity to the source material, much like how the Super Mario Bros. movie felt like a radical departure from the tone and visual language people knew that franchise for.

LEGO Bionicle translates fairly well to a medium where its origins as a plastic toy are not apparent. The first three direct-to-DVD Bionicle movies demonstrated this by heavily stylizing the characters to look more like they could be a genuine biomechanical alien species. And it's also one of the themes with the most story elements that could potentially be adapted, and with a premise that stands out from other science-fiction and fantasy franchises.

At the same time, it has very little to gain from a live-action adaptation, since it exists in a wholly separate universe from any real-world species and settings. In fact, early in the theme's lifetime, many movie pitches were rejected on the grounds that the studios wanted them to revolve around human characters. So a live action Bionicle adaptation would probably end up being either be a really cringeworthy spectacle of actors in awkward, form-concealing costumes walking around on elaborately decorated sound stage, or a movie that's so heavily reliant on animated visual effects added in post-production that it loses any advantage it might get by having real film footage underneath.

So overall I think the theme I'd most enjoy seeing in live-action is LEGO Elves. It has a really iconic visual language even when translated to a more lifelike art style, as a lot of the theme's promotional artwork and animations show. These sorts of portrayals of the characters, creatures, and settings feel believable by fantasy standards, but also are unmistakably recognizable as re-imaginings of the corresponding LEGO figures and models. Its characters can also be successfully represented by human actors in costume (many people have created fabulous LEGO Elves cosplay even on a DIY budget).

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Nothing if it's like the quality of the Super Mario Bros. live action movie (1993)

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1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

I mean, the idea that there'd be no point to that only holds water if you think how much a movie has to do with the LEGO medium is the sole measure of its merit. I like The LEGO Movie franchise as much as the next person, but I also enjoy Marvel movies, Star Wars movies, etc. that aren't LEGO-based to begin with. So why would a film like the LEGO Movie that is inherently inspired by LEGO as a creative, play, and storytelling medium be the ONLY appropriate way to adapt a LEGO theme's story into a movie?

Because otherwise, it'd be a missed opportunity. I mean, how many cinematic releases get the chance to be animated in a faux-Brickfilm/stop-motion style, with completely brick-built backdrops and animation that real-life Brickfilmers can only dream of achieving! :purrr:

1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

What's more, even among the story-driven themes, the appeal of many is driven partly by their bright colors and cartoonish visual design. Translating them into characters who look like real people might potentially lose that sense of authenticity to the source material, much like how the Super Mario Bros. movie felt like a radical departure from the tone and visual language people knew that franchise for.

Plus, such an approach would only work in favor of promoting that specific playtheme, rather than the brand as a whole.

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There are already lots of live action movies essentially in Lego themes.

Pharohs Quest: The Mummy

Aquazone: The Abyss

Rock Raiders: Total Recall

Wild West: Stagecoach

Trains: Unstoppable

Elves: Dark Crystal

Scalia: Devil Wears overpriced rubbish

Ninja: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Paradisa: Clueless

Belville: The Parent Trap

Classic Space: The Fifth Element

Time Cruisers: Back to the Future

Classic Pirates: Pirates of Caribbean

Classic Castle: Lord of the Rings

City: every other movie.

And the OP's Dino Attack is obvious.

Edited by koalayummies
Edit: "overpriced rubbish" is a censored word for a fashion designer

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The setting I imagine for the 1978-79 waves of Classic Space is sort of a Stanley Kubrick moonbase.  If a very skilled Hollywood director could make a film in a setting like that with a similar gravitas to 2001 and faithfully incorporate the 78-79 set designs without making it obvious that the production design is based on a forty year old toy line, I'd be happy to see it.

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4 hours ago, Pdaitabird said:

I'd like to see the Adventurers theme (which began as a shameless rip-off of Indiana Jones) made into an intentionally cheesy (musical?) parody of the entire adventure genre. Think Johnny Thunder and Sam Sinister singing about what they'll do with the treasure they're hunting.

As a real cinematic LEGO movie in the animated tradition we've seen so far, I'd like to see Hugh Jackman voice Johnny Thunder, as they're both Australian. :shrug_oh_well:

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5 hours ago, koalayummies said:

All dressed in cheesy building costumes and walking around talking as the buildings.

I would 100% watch this. I want the older buildings to really rip on how young the newer ones are and get all snooty about neo-classical over Deco and modernist. Just for laughs, there are a few Brutalist buildings they can all ignore :tongue:

5 hours ago, Pdaitabird said:

intentionally cheesy (musical?) parody

I need  singing Johnny Thunder in my life.

 

43 minutes ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Hugh Jackman voice Johnny Thunder

Let him grow the mustache (we know for sure he can do the sideburns) and he can be Live Action! JT.

Singing.

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35 minutes ago, Peppermint_M said:

Let him grow the mustache (we know for sure he can do the sideburns) and he can be Live Action! JT.

Singing.

Well, I'd be totally down for Hugh Jackman in the lead roll of a musical parody/tribute to pulp adventure serials of the 1930's; but, as far him portraying Johnny Thunder in a LEGO Adventurers movie, it would have to be as a voice roll in an animated TLM spinoff.

P.S. By the way, should this topic rather be in the LEGO Media and Gaming subforum instead, like I had earlier suggested? :shrug_confused:

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4 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Because otherwise, it'd be a missed opportunity. I mean, how many cinematic releases get the chance to be animated in a faux-Brickfilm/stop-motion style, with completely brick-built backdrops and animation that real-life Brickfilmers can only dream of achieving! :purrr:

Plus, such an approach would only work in favor of promoting that specific playtheme, rather than the brand as a whole.

Both of these concerns seem to treat the thread's question as if it's asking for what you actually want LEGO to release INSTEAD OF their current media strategy. When I read it more as a hypothetical question of what would be a fun live-action movie to make or watch about a theme you enjoy.

After all, the first post begins with the statement "if you were a movie director" which (for most of us) is purely hypothetical, so getting hung up on how it might negatively impact LEGO's current media strategy is kind of like getting hung up on the negative impacts becoming a movie director might have on your own current lifestyle and career goals.

If the original question is too hard to answer without thinking about those types of practical concerns, maybe an easier question to think about in that manner is "what live-action movie based on a LEGO theme do you think you'd enjoy if it already existed and nothing else about the past, present, or future was any different?"

And anyhow, you know what they say: "variety is the spice of life". If LEGO can have more than one type of set, why shouldn't they be able to have more than one type of media? I mean, I can't imagine anyone out there is concerned about whether other LEGO-related media like a LEGO Ninjago sticker book, a LEGO Bionicle video game, or a LEGO Mindstorms app "promotes the brand as a whole".

3 hours ago, Peppermint_M said:

I would 100% watch this. I want the older buildings to really rip on how young the newer ones are and get all snooty about neo-classical over Deco and modernist. Just for laughs, there are a few Brutalist buildings they can all ignore :tongue:

This kind of sounds like The Emoji Movie but for architects. XD

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10 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Both of these concerns seem to treat the thread's question as if it's asking for what you actually want LEGO to release INSTEAD OF their current media strategy. When I read it more as a hypothetical question of what would be a fun live-action movie to make or watch about a theme you enjoy.

After all, the first post begins with the statement "if you were a movie director" which (for most of us) is purely hypothetical, so getting hung up on how it might negatively impact LEGO's current media strategy is kind of like getting hung up on the negative impacts becoming a movie director might have on your own current lifestyle and career goals.

If the original question is too hard to answer without thinking about those types of practical concerns, maybe an easier question to think about in that manner is "what live-action movie based on a LEGO theme do you think you'd enjoy if it already existed and nothing else about the past, present, or future was any different?"

And anyhow, you know what they say: "variety is the spice of life". If LEGO can have more than one type of set, why shouldn't they be able to have more than one type of media? I mean, I can't imagine anyone out there is concerned about whether other LEGO-related media like a LEGO Ninjago sticker book, a LEGO Bionicle video game, or a LEGO Mindstorms app "promotes the brand as a whole".

To answer your rephrased question, damn, I really don't know. :def_shrug: It's just that I value the LEGO System medium over any source material depicted by it pretty much 100% of the time, and such a preexisting live-action movie would only frustrate me that its artistic approach barely acknowledges the LEGO System visually. Okay, I mean, I guess I'd hypothetically love to see a live-action LEGO Adventurers movie, as the genre it embodies doesn't have that much cinematic representation nowadays; but still, I just couldn't bring myself to consider it a Lego movie. To me, Lego is defined by the System, not the playthemes that are built upon it.

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LEGO has created entire worlds that were never before for the most part in any other type of media, Bionicle being a prime example. But as much as I would like a Bionicle movie, that would probably rely way too much on CGI effects rather than actual live-action acting, so I decided to go with Dino Attack.

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On 3/29/2019 at 3:16 PM, Lego David said:

that would probably rely way too much on CGI effects rather than actual live-action acting

Utterly a moot point. Even many seemingly "live action" movies are so CG heavy, in the end they are CG movies. It's not about dancing dinosaurs or flying super heroes, it's about fundamental stuff like compositing, color grading, wire removal, set extensions and whatnot. Given the fictional nature of most LEGO themes, even something as basic as an adventure-thmed movie would heavily lean at least on some of that, not to speak of re-creating specific buildings, vehicles and sceneries entirely as 3D CG.

That aside, I can't see how any LEGO theme could ever be succesfully turned into a reasonably coherent "normal" movie. The premises of most themes are either way too thin or there are better ways to deal with them. This either ends up being generic as "Battleship" or the "Transformers" movies, where the only shared commonality is the name or it ends up a mess like those failed Japanese anime adaptations that nobody likes because it clashes with established canon and lore.

Mylenium

On 3/28/2019 at 7:49 PM, Aanchir said:

So overall I think the theme I'd most enjoy seeing in live-action is LEGO Elves. It has a really iconic visual language even when translated to a more lifelike art style, as a lot of the theme's promotional artwork and animations show. These sorts of portrayals of the characters, creatures, and settings feel believable by fantasy standards, but also are unmistakably recognizable as re-imaginings of the corresponding LEGO figures and models. Its characters can also be successfully represented by human actors in costume (many people have created fabulous LEGO Elves cosplay even on a DIY budget).

...but then again it's also a done-to-death thing found in pretty much any medieval-ish game and there's a lot of terrible movies based on that out there. not sure if I can see the value here. Same point as before - unless you back it up with "LOTR" or "Game of Thrones" level lore and the same quality of screenwriting it's likely goind to end up being just another turd, even with castles' walls in Light Aqua or whatever. *g*

Mylenium

On 3/29/2019 at 1:40 PM, Digger of Bricks said:

To me, Lego is defined by the System, not the playthemes that are built upon it.

Though arguably that is the point that could be mined most easily for a "LEGO-themed" movie. The question then would be whether it appeals to broader audiences, though.

Mylenium

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56 minutes ago, Mylenium said:

Utterly a moot point. Even many seemingly "live action" movies are so CG heavy, in the end they are CG movies. It's not about dancing dinosaurs or flying super heroes, it's about fundamental stuff like compositing, color grading, wire removal, set extensions and whatnot. Given the fictional nature of most LEGO themes, even something as basic as an adventure-thmed movie would heavily lean at least on some of that, not to speak of re-creating specific buildings, vehicles and sceneries entirely as 3D CG.

That aside, I can't see how any LEGO theme could ever be succesfully turned into a reasonably coherent "normal" movie. The premises of most themes are either way too thin or there are better ways to deal with them. This either ends up being generic as "Battleship" or the "Transformers" movies, where the only shared commonality is the name or it ends up a mess like those failed Japanese anime adaptations that nobody likes because it clashes with established canon and lore.

I don't think the weaknesses of the Transformers movies stem from them being live-action. I'd say a lot more of them stem from Michael Bay's weaknesses as a storyteller, which resulted in increasingly incoherent narratives, fetishistic portrayals of the military, weak characterization, and cringeworthy sexualization and rude humor aimed at appealing to a very sleazy sense of what adult filmgoers wanted out of an action movie.

I haven't yet seen the latest movie, Bumblebee, but it has a really good Rotten Tomatoes score, and my sense is that having a better director and a story with more "heart" did wonders for it.

And in general, I don't feel like the quality of any type of adaptation from one medium to another can be judged strictly on "established canon and lore". Movies are a very different type of experience than books, video games, and TV shows, and even different TYPES of movie are different types of experience from one another (you wouldn't expect, say, a musical film to adapt a classic book or fairy tale the same way as a non-musical adaptation, nor a comedy to adapt a superhero comic the same way as a action/drama). As such, what works best for a movie often ISN'T the same as what worked best for that particular story in another medium. Plus, if the premises themselves are often weak in your eyes, that's all the more reason that an adaptation (live action film or otherwise) need not follow the source material blindly. Like, a lot of 80s cartoons were kind of garbage as far as storytelling was concerned, but lately we've seen some of them achieve great success even in the modern day via a new adaptation or reboot that re-imagines the parts that didn't work so well.

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1 minute ago, Aanchir said:

I don't think the weaknesses of the Transformers movies stem from them being live-action. I'd say a lot more of them stem from Michael Bay's weaknesses as a storyteller, which resulted in increasingly incoherent narratives, fetishistic portrayals of the military, weak characterization, and cringeworthy sexualization and rude humor aimed at appealing to a very sleazy sense of what adult filmgoers wanted out of an action movie.

Fair enough, though the underlying question to me would actually be if there is enough story there to make a deeper movie. It's based on a pretty shallow TV series to begin with. Not sure.

7 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

And in general, I don't feel like the quality of any type of adaptation from one medium to another can be judged strictly on "established canon and lore". Movies are a very different type of experience 

I don't mean to imply that every movie needs to be based on a 1000+ pages book or a back catalog of comics, but it sure helps, especially when it comes to your proposed Elves movie. That's the old gag of people failing to realize how at least subconsciously a fully formed world influences critical story and design decisions and helps to ground the movie in some sort of reality. And I also think therein lies the rub with anything LEGO-related on a quite general level. A lot of people simply associate it with their own memories and a much broader context, so for what it's worth, I could never see a LEGO-based movie work without it recognizing and acknowledging this.

11 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

As such, what works best for a movie often ISN'T the same as what worked best for that particular story in another medium. Plus, if the premises themselves are often weak in your eyes, that's all the more reason that an adaptation (live action film or otherwise) need not follow the source material blindly. Like, a lot of 80s cartoons were kind of garbage as far as storytelling was concerned, but lately we've seen some of them achieve great success even in the modern day via a new adaptation or reboot that re-imagines the parts that didn't work so well.

I would maintain that in your given example the Elves theme isn't even deep enough to actaully mine it for this exploitable alternate content or an alternate interpretation. Either it would be entirely contrived or really just share the name. In both cases it wouldn't even need any relation to LEGO and the original Elves theme. I guess that's the point I'm ultimately trying to make. The rest is neither here nor there, as they say. You can find just as many people who despise those "reinvented" and remade movies, series and whatnot and personally I find it a worrying trend just as well. Incidentally they talk about this a bit in this video in relation to those godawful Disney remakes...

Mylenium

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4 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I haven't yet seen the latest movie, Bumblebee, but it has a really good Rotten Tomatoes score, and my sense is that having a better director and a story with more "heart" did wonders for it.

Well, for me, I loved it! :sweet:

It's very much a by-the-book ET/Iron Giant/Big Hero 6 type of movie, so I highly recommend it even if it does follows that formula a little too closely. :thumbup: :blush:

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