Emmet in The LEGO Movie

LEGOs have been popular construction toys for decades, but its only been within the last three years that the colorful bricks have assembled together to be a major film franchise. The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie were both critical and commercial successful, and the brick-built series has had three other movies scheduled for the future. There hasn't been much news regarding the last of the trio, The Billion Brick Race, over the last two years, but now the project is under new leadership with the hiring of The Book of Life's Jorge Gutierrez.

Previously Jason Segel and Iron Man 3's Drew Pearce were attached to write and co-direct The Billion Brick Race back in 2015, but THR has heard that Jorge Gutierrez has been brought aboard to take over the development. No details were provided about why Segel and Pearce are no longer working on the project, but given the lack of updates about this particular LEGO theatrical installment, it would seem that Warner Bros decided that they needed someone else to jumpstart it. It also hasn't been revealed what The Billion Brick Race is about, although it's based off an original idea of Pearce's. I remain hopeful that it will be a LEGO twist on Rat Race.

Jorge Gutierrez has been in the animation business since the late 1990s, with his notable credits including Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, Maya & Miguel, Mad and Guardians of Oz. After directing the shorts Carmelo and El Macho, he made his feature-length directorial debut with 2014's The Book of Life, which earned positive reception and was nominated for a Golden Globe. In addition to now developing The Billion Brick Race, Gutierrez is also attached to helm Kung Fu Space Punch and The Book of Life 2.

After years of releasing direct-to-video movies, LEGO finally made the jump to the big screen in 2014 with The LEGO Movie, which received critical acclaim and ensured that Warner Bros had made a wise decision turning to the bricks for a family-friendly franchise. The LEGO Batman Movie spotlighted Will Arnett's iteration of the Caped Crusader earlier this year and received similar positive reception, while The LEGO Ninjago Movie will deliver a new adaptation of the Ninjago toyline, the first being the still-running Masters of Spinjitzu TV series on Cartoon Network. It remains to be seen if there will be any close connections between The Billion Brick Race and the other LEGO movies, but it's expected to exist within the same multiverse.

The LEGO film franchise continues when The LEGO Ninjago Movie is released on September 8. The LEGO Movie Sequel will follow on February 8, 2019. The Billion Brick Race was originally scheduled to come out on May 24, 2019, but now its release date is up in the air.

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