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Hollywood loves to count its chickens before they've hatched - studios developing sequels before they've confirmed that there is a real audience for the original - and that plan of action is once again in the works for the upcoming LEGO Movie. The animated family film won't be arriving in theaters until this weekend, but already Warner Bros. is getting set to move forward with a follow-up, having already hired an actor to start working on the screenplay.
Sources over at The Wrap report that screenwriter Jared Stern and an unnamed second writer have already begun work on a script for a LEGO Movie sequel. The first movie was written by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street/Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs), but the new report doesn't mention if they will be coming back to work on the follow-up - either as directors or even as producers. At this time it's unknown what the plot of Stern's script will be, or even how much it will be connected to the story told in the original. Stern is best known for working on scripts for comedies like Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Watch and The Internship, but has also done story work on Walt Disney Animation films like Bolt, The Princess and the Frog, and Wreck-It Ralph.
Warner Bros. has been looking to expand its own development of animated films for a while now, and Stern has actually been a big part of that process. Last year it was announced that the studio was bringing in a brain trust of writers and directors to help develop new projects, and names involved in that story included Stern, Lord & Miller, Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets/Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and the team of John Requa & Glenn Ficarra (Bad Santa). In addition to a LEGO Movie sequel, WB is also working on an animated film called Storks and another called Smallfoot.
While moving forward with The LEGO Movie 2 may seem like jumping the gun at this point, the truth is that the first film is being predicted to have an incredibly strong opening weekend. The Wrap says that its first weekend could result in a $40 million haul, which would be quite impressive when you consider that Tim Story's Ride Along was the number one movie in America last week with a $12 million take.
Are you planning to see The LEGO Movie this weekend? Are you excited that there is already a sequel in the works? Do you think Stern has what it takes to further the franchise? Let us know what you think in the comments below.