In The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Chris Pratt reprises his role as Emmet, while also playing a new character: Rex Dangervest, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the cool, confident and funny characters Pratt plays in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World franchises. In a conversation with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, writers and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller spoke about turning Rex into the quintessential Chris Pratt character. Take a look:
Chris Pratt already has Lego minifigurines of his characters Owen Grady and Star-Lord, and with his new character in The Lego Movie 2, Lord and Miller are helping the actor add to his pop culture and Lego universe ubiquity. Rex Dangervest is the quintessential Chris Pratt character for an actor who is one of the biggest action stars around and has roles in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster franchises.
It’s interesting that Lord and Miller talk about Chris Pratt’s journey from Andy Dwyer, a likable chubby buffoon on Parks and Recreation, to his new image as something of a masculine hero and sex symbol thanks to his blockbuster roles. Phil Lord and Chris Miller clearly found that dichotomy and that journey interesting and worth exploring with Rex Dangervest, who is the prototypical 2019 Chris Pratt character.
That creation of Rex Dangervest and his interactions with Emmet in the film thus take on something of a meta quality as we are seeing the two phases of Chris Pratt’s career represented onscreen. It’s a bit of a meta commentary, and as Chris Miller told Eric in the video above, that created the opportunity for humor:
Now he’s the biggest sexiest action movie star in the world and so we thought it was really funny that he’s still also a sweetheart at heart and the dialogue between those two sides of him seemed really funny.
So the early Parks and Rec era Chris Pratt is Emmet and the shiny new action-oriented Chris Pratt is Rex Dangervest, and as Miller joked, this allows the actor to do some self-reflection therapy in the recording booth.
You might think that the same effect could be achieved by just having Emmet interact with mini Lego figurines of Star-Lord and Owen Grady in the film, giving Chris Pratt three roles to play. After all, the Lego universe allows for the mixing of IPs and brands and worlds. This was a consideration initially, but ultimately they decided to create Rex Dangervest instead, as Chris Miller explained:
Yes there were early on, but we thought this character as an amalgam of all this stuff was a funnier idea ultimately.
Chris Pratt has gained a certain image with the kinds of characters he plays thanks to his roles in the huge Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World franchises. Peter Quill and Owen Grady are adventurous, funny, charming and hugely likable, and they would have been a fun addition to The Lego Movie 2. But as Chris Miller told Eric, using Rex Dangervest instead is funnier.
Star-Lord and Owen Grady would have been funny because they are funny, whereas Rex Dangervest is funny as well, but also has a deeper level of humor because he is something of a parody of those characters.
As he says about himself in the trailer, Rex Dangervest is a galaxy-defending archeologist, cowboy and raptor trainer. In that he is basically an amalgamation of the galaxy-defending Star-Lord, raptor trainer Owen Grady and Chris Pratt’s cowboy from either The Magnificent Seven or his future role in Cowboy Ninja Viking. The archeologist part is even referencing the oft-rumored casting of Chris Pratt as a new Indiana Jones.