"Cloudy" directors play with "Lego"

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A movie based on the Lego toys has found its latest brick piece: a director. Or in this case, a pair of directors.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind Sony Animation’s hit “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” are in final negotiations to write and direct the Lego movie, which is set up at Warner Bros.

The plot is being kept under wraps, but it will be an adventure in the Lego world mixing live action and animation.

In order to get the gig, Lord and Miller prepared a presentation that not only had to pass muster with Warners brass but also with executives from Lego, which is extremely protective with its toys and brand and had a significant hand in the process.

After winning approval from Warners, they flew up to Bricks by the Bay, the Lego convention in Fremont, to make their pitch to Lego execs. Warners and Lego weren’t sure initially if they wanted a live-action or animated movie, and Lord and Miller went with a scenario that incorporated both.

One winning component that convinced Lego and Warners that the duo was up to the task was their work on “Cloudy.” They took a 32-page children’s book, developed a story and characters and used their unique sense of humor to turn it into a family movie that also played to adults. The 3D animated adaptation grossed more than $243 million worldwide and garnered numerous nominations last awards season.

Lord and Miller are developing the big-screen take on the TV show “21 Jump Street,” set up at Columbia. The plan is for the pair to tackle “Lego” after that.