Warner Brothers to produce LEGO Ninjago feature film?

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Comingsoon.net is reporting that a Ninjago Feature Film is in the works. There is no release date or detailed information other than what is published on that site:

"After the very enthusiastic reaction to the trailer for The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. is rolling out another film based on the popular toys. The Hollywood Reporter says that brothers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman will write a screenplay based on the popular LEGO series "Ninjago." The Hagerman brothers also worked on The LEGO Movie and the "Ninjago" animated series for Cartoon Network.

Details on the upcoming film aren't available, but it is said to go in a different direction with the property than the Cartoon Network series which featured a combination of Chinese and Japanese myths mixed among the various ninjas. Check back here for more updates on Ninjago as they become available."

Thanks to Bumblepants in the forum for the tip.

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By in Canada,

I really hope this film is better than the juvenile TV show.

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By in United States,

Guess I'm juvenile, because I would be more disappointed if the movie were one bit different than the show. The Ninjago show is great (and oddly enough targeted at juveniles... Which I also guess is forgotten in the bizarre world of AFOLs).

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By in United States,

This wouldn't have anything to do with the possible 2014 return of Lego Ninjago, would it?

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By in Denmark,

So Chima bombed? I quite like the Ninjago TV series (and so does my son, all the boys in his kindergarden as well. Chima is a no go .. yes, I did a survey), much more developed characters than Chima .. Chime seems to all about .. eh, drugs?

Quite stupid for TLG to kill off/replace Ninjago right in the middle of it's heyday. Some of those kids will turn AFOLs and some Ninjago sets are gonna skyrocket in price. Chima won't

Imho that is

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By in United States,

I'd would have waited to see how the LEGO film did in the box office, but ok... Maybe a City one, based off the excellent Lego City Undercover game in 2017?

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By in United States,

I'm not sure what to think about this news. I really enjoyed the Ninjago show, and I'm sure I'll judge any Ninjago movie against it. Honestly, I'd rather see a continuation of the cartoon, but I'll wait for more details before forming a solid opinion. Interesting news, nonetheless.

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By in United States,

Huh, interesting.

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By in Denmark,

No wonder LEGO decided to continue the line. They knew this movie would make a wave more profitable :-)

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By in United States,

Nice! The Ninjago show was superb, especially for a Lego show. I hope it'll be good!

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By in Canada,

@Isabella ad Lego Liker, I would love to see a movie based off of Lego City Undercover. The game is fantastic and gives any brick set member the reason to pick up Nintendo's next console.

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By in United States,

OHHHH... MY... BRICKY!!!!! AWESOME!!!!

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By in United States,

Ninjago wasn't even half as juvenile as Chima is, so I'd be totally fine with it if they stick to the tone of the TV show. Although I certainly wouldn't mind if they make it a bit more serious either.

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By in Germany,

Interesting. It's not canceled, and gets a movie. It surprises me - I believe in the same way it surprised TLC how many wanted to have it back.

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By in Taiwan,

I'm not sure. I do want to see more Ninjago things, but for a movie (especially made by Warner) I'd like to see a story with an original theme different' from The Lego Film and Ninjago, which appeals mostly to junior boys. I'd also like to know if other different ongoing and future themes would have such a chance.

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By in Australia,

Yeah, it's interesting that Ninjago seems a lot more popular than Chima (I still don't really care that much for Chima).

But honestly, I'd rather have waited until the first movie came out. Just to prove that TLC can write a decent script.

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By in United States,

Yep I guess im a juvenile cause I rely liked how ninjago was on tv... And I would love for this movie to come out. also this is not replacing the TV show they have confirmed at least 8 more episodes for the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014

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By in United States,

Are they going to retell the NinjaGo story or continue on? These just seems wierd to me when you can just make DVD movies or TV episodes.

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By in United States,

^It's probably going to be a whole new story, say one that takes place after the 2014 timeline, or something like that.

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By in United States,

@Yamaki- I don't like to believe that LEGO is in any way corrupt, and don't condemn me for saying this; it's just a thought I have had.

What if LEGO planned for this all along? I mean, they aren't stupid. They knew that Ninjago was a popular theme. So, why not get some ace marketing by announcing it's closure, then bringing it back? They've never done this before, and this news supports my theory. After all, if they are truly re-starting Ninjago, then they have probably just started designing the 2014 sets. And now they come out with a whole feature-length movie, just because of some petitions on the LEGO Messageboards? Sounds a bit fishy to me.

So, in short, my hypothesis says that TLG may have planned for this all along, as a publicity stunt. After all, they're not dumb, and it seems odd how they would quit, then re-start it a few months later.

If you disagree with my statements above, remember, it's just a thought. Feel free to tell me otherwise, though. ;)

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By in United States,

^No, they probably started designing the 2014 Ninjago sets even before the announcement of Ninjago continuing was made. Even if it looked like a sudden decision, keep in mind how much of TLG's decision-making happens behind closed doors. I imagine they would have waited even longer to drop hints about future Ninjago if they didn't see a pressing need for damage control (with the rumor spreading that Ninjago was canned to make room for Chima). So it's not a matter of "they quit, and then restart a few months later".

Rather, they planned to quit Ninjago for good after the "final battle" storyline, but then when they saw an outpouring of support for the show (and, perhaps more importantly, the sales results for the late 2012 sets), they had to pick up where they left off — and considering that they didn't have any plans for additional Ninjago story in the works at that time, that didn't give them enough development time to have a new wave of sets ready for Summer 2013.

And it's not "just because of some petitions on the LEGO Message Boards". They're keeping a close eye on the Ninjago community even outside the LEGO website, and as the article states, it's partly on account of the positive reaction to the LEGO Movie trailer.

Anyway, as a huge Ninjago fan I'm extremely eager for this! It's probably going to be a ways off if they just now formalized the agreement (keep in mind how long the LEGO Movie's been in development), but I'm extremely optimistic.

I hope they get Jay Vincent and/or Michael Kramer to do the score for the movie, just like they did for the TV series, as their work has been PHENOMENAL and possibly some of the most iconic and memorable music I've encountered in any LEGO theme. Unlike the music for the BIONICLE movies, which felt more or less like generic fantasy adventure movie fare, the Ninjago music has been wonderful in bringing together Asian-inspired rhythms and powerful rock instrumentals to really highlight the theme's zany anachronistic flavor.

In the meantime, for those who don't want to wait so long, Jay Vincent confirmed on his website that he has worked on music for eight Ninjago episodes which will be airing later this year!

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By in United States,

^

Excuse me.

Excuse - me.

Did you just say that the music for the BIONICLE films felt more or less like generic fantasy adventure movie fare?

My heart just like, severed, man. Actually, I haven't listened to the Ninjago score, despite being a giant film score collector and loving LEGO scores, especially the BIONICLE and LEGO Universe ones. I might give it a try some time, I hope that what you said is true. But dude, the Bionicle scores are great! Nathan Furst is actually releasing a score album for them later this year - let it be added to my lengthy number of scores!

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By in Indonesia,

^ I love "Bye, Bye Babylon".

Anyways, I'm quite excited, but I doubt it's a for-sure thing. Does anyone remember the rumor about Universal making a Hero Factory Movie?

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By in United States,

I remember that rumor, but I'm not a big fan of HERO Factory. I think it was just a rumor, nothing more. But of course, I might be proven wrong, what with all these new surprises every corner!

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By in United States,

So here is a question for the English members... The television show is not televised because it came after the toys correct? So will this movie be allowed in the United Kingdom?

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By in United States,

Adding to what Aanchir said above, I do hope they get the Jay Vincent and/or Michael Kramer for the score, because he was amazing in the show, and the music really resonates with me.

I do have to disagree about Nathan Furst though, the BIONICLE movies had fantastic music. That may just be the nostalgia talking, but they had great music.

I do hope we get a good storyline next year for Ninjago... I wonder what it'll be.

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By in United States,

Each line that TLG comes up with takes up to 5 years before we see the actual sets and themese.

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By in United States,

^^ Nostalgia or not, BIONICLE music still sends shivers down my spine. :-D

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By in United States,

Let someone else deliver us for the score this time, I just listened to it and it was quite frustrating. Wonderful chase and action material ruined by a bunch of synthetic electronic effects and electric guitar solos. That being said, the last two tracks ("The Temple of Light" and "The Final Battle") were incredible, used no synth, and would fit anywhere in a five-star score. If Jay Vincent and Michael Kramer start giving us more of that, then I would gladly accept them for the score. For now, in James Horner we trust.

Or John Powell, he would be nice too...

Just PLEASE not Hans Zimmer...

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By in United States,

Firewolf, LEGO now comes up with sets within 7-19 months. They need to keep up with the ever changing pase of what children want. It's how we will be getting new NinjaGo sets next year.

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By in United States,

@kaboomlegoman: I don't mean that as an insult to the BIONICLE movie scores by any means! Certainly they're every bit as memorable and recognizable as the Ninjago score, and that places them above the music to many other LEGO features like the fourth BIONICLE movie or The Adventures of Clutch Powers.

But I felt they didn't fit with BIONICLE as much as some earlier music for the theme in that they lost both the tribal and the electronic motifs that characterized the music of BIONICLE as early as 2001. BIONICLEmusic.com, a major BIONICLE website operated jointly with Universal Music in 2001, described the music of BIONICLE as "a mix of the mystical and the mechanical". In Mask of Light, any mechanical overtones to the music were lost, and the "mystical" aspect it kept might have been just as fitting for a traditional European medieval fantasy as for the exotic settings BIONICLE explored.

I like Nathan Furst's scores, and I like Cryoshell's rock songs, but I never felt that either really defined what made the theme special to the same extent as I would have liked.

I think the music of Ninjago does a much better job fitting with exactly what it is that makes the theme's story, setting, and design uniquely interesting. You can listen to a lot of it at Jay Vincent's site ( jayvincentmusic.com/hear.html ) or on his YouTube channel ( http://www.youtube.com/user/SevenWheelSound/videos ).

Tracks I particularly recommend:

Ninjago Overture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgREiPOGGL4
Dragon Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T9bEh1OhfU
Zane's True Potential: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvkrol_V90E
I Have You Now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUJOAY4poN0
The Temple of Light: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFy4AfK56oo

When "Dragon Ride" played during the two-episode pilot, that was when it hit me that Ninjago, and its music, were going to be something really special. Before that, it was yet another really cool and imaginative theme, with a delicious Saturday morning cartoon flavor to it, but that track that blended together traditional and modern sounds into one epic concoction reminded me very much of the epic electronic music that played during so many of the Mata Nui Online Game's cutscenes, but this time with a recipe that was uniquely Ninjago.

@fikko3107: I remember that rumor, but I think a lot of people overestimate its significance. The only news we got was that Universal was "in talks" to develop a Hero Factory movie. We don't know if those talks really went anywhere, or if they did, how long it'll take such a movie to come to fruition. And since Hero Factory has had a much smaller media profile than Ninjago, that news doesn't necessarily have the same promise that this announcement does.

Don't get me wrong. I love Hero Factory and think it, far more than Ninjago, needs to be interpreted on a higher level than what it gets in its cheesy TV episodes. But I don't know if I'd put as much stock in those rumors as I would in rumors of Ninjago getting a film treatment.

@The Green Brick Giant: Well, what AZFIREWOLF said is more or less true of BRAND NEW lines, at least many of the really high-budget lines with very high expectations. Planning for Ninjago began in 2008, according to one article I read. LEGO Friends was also in development for about four years, and much of that development time took place behind closed doors even to other LEGO designers.

But creating a new wave for an existing theme doesn't always take nearly as long. Sometimes TLG already has sketch models from previous waves or previous themes that they can turn into new sets, even if the theme wasn't expected to continue. Mark Stafford's Bricklist of sets he created lists a couple sets that were based on sketch models for different themes entirely.

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By in Netherlands,

I completely agree with you. I love the music of bionicle, but I like the later music too. The music of bionicle doesn't have a leitmotif like the music of Ninjago does, making it less iconic.

@Aanchir: Great selection of music. To me, other great pieces are:
Zane's falcon friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi2SyWWqrJA
Awakenig the great devourer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewIlUveiUXo (please ingnore the intro)
The final battle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm9zRXyLzvQ

Hopefully the movie will stay true to the original story.

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By in United States,

@Binnekamp

Um... the Bionicle scores had a main theme, a flying theme, a theme for the Toa, a theme for Makuta, a theme for the Matoran, and probably more, seeing as I have only given it an in-depth listen once...

So it has quite a few more leitmotifs than Ninjago. Upon listening to the score, I only caught about two.

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By in United States,

^Ninjago has several leitmotifs. Zane's falcon has one, young Lloyd Garmadon has one, the Green/Gold Ninja has one, Lord Garmadon has one, Nuckal and Kruncha have their dopey little leitmotif, the Serpentine have one, Samurai X has one, the dragons sort of have one (it's the overture with an additional synth track), Misako has one (which she sort of shares with Sensei Wu)... and moving away from characters, there's a recurring "chase scene" theme that is utilized frequently, and of course the main overture. There are probably others I can't think of at the moment.

I once was lucky enough to speak to Jay Vincent in an interview, and it's remarkable how much thought he and Mike Kramer put into the music for the series. They decided early on that strings instruments would represent the villains and wind instruments would represent the heroes. The falcon's theme uses a mix of the two because when it is introduced, it is meant to be ambiguous whether it is good, evil, or neutral.

As of last year, apparently JAM Music & Effects (the company responsible for the sound design of the TV series) is working on a two-volume soundtrack for the series. But it's not entirely clear when that might be coming out, if at all. Jay Vincent said it'd be out before the end of 2012, but that didn't end up happening (perhaps because of the decision to extend Ninjago, or perhaps for other reasons).

I recognize that the BIONICLE movie trilogy had some very memorable leitmotifs, but it'd have been nice if they really gave a sense of BIONICLE's blend of machines and mythology that made it so unique. Naturally I don't think less of them in a musical sense for this reason. They easily measure up to a lot of scores for bigger-budget movies. But I think with a story and setting as unique as BIONICLE or Ninjago, you ought to be able to hear some of that uniqueness in the music.

Sort-of related: I once heard a mashup of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic theme with the Doctor Who theme, composed as a theme for the background character MLP fans nicknamed "Doctor Whooves". It seems like such a hilarious mashup would definitely have a novelty of its own if it's composed well. But while the composition was decent and flowed together nicely, it fell short of my expectations for one reason: instead of the eerie theremin that defines the Doctor Who theme, it used electric guitars. The melody was fine, but the sound that made the Doctor Who theme so distinctively sci-fi was lost.

That's the sort of thing that the right rhythms and instrumentation can do for a theme. With that kind of uniqueness, it stands out as remarkably appropriate for the franchise it represents. But change the instruments and suddenly it's like you've changed something about the show or franchise itself.

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