Variety Entertainment News Service
Audiencess won't have to wait for "Justice League" to see Warner Bros.' two marquee superheroes share the bigscreen, as both Batman and Superman will be characters in the studio's "Lego" movie.
The "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller is directing "Lego: The Piece of Resistance," which is a hybrid of live-action and Lego-based animation. Casting is currently underway, as Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation") is set to voice the pic's lead character, while Will Arnett will voice the role of Lego Batman.
Helmers are courting their "21 Jump Street" star Channing Tatum to voice Superman, though he has not committed due to his busy schedule, which includes Sony's "White House Down," Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher," a big-budget sci-fi pic from the Wachowski siblings and a "Jump Street" sequel.
Pratt will play Emmet, an ordinary, law-abiding, Lego mini-figure who is mistaken for the most extraordinary MasterBuilder. He's drafted into a fellowship of strangers on a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the universe together.
In November, Warners brought on Chris McKay, director of Adult Swim's stop-motion animated comedy "Robot Chicken," to serve as co-director under Lord and Miller. Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing.
Australia-based visual-effects toon house Animal Logic will handle pic's animation, which is expected to comprise 80 percent of "Lego." The project, which was greenlit late last year, is skedded for release on Feb. 28, 2014.
"Lego" has been in development at WB since 2008, when the studio began working with the toymaker on a family comedy based on the popular building blocks, tapping scribes Dan and Kevin Hageman to write the script.
Lego and WB have partnered for several years producing Batman toys and videogames, and will launch a new set of playthings around "The Dark Knight Rises" through the Lego Batman collection. "Lego Batman: The Videogame," published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, has sold more than 12 million units since 2008.
During last year's Comic-Con, the studio announced an expanded relationship with Lego, granting the toymaker access to DC Entertainment's complete library of comicbook characters and stories to launch DC Universe superheroes as figures and playsets in January.
Arnett is no stranger to animation, having voiced characters in "Ice Age: The Meltdown," "Ratatouille," "Horton Hears a Who!," "Monsters vs Aliens," "Despicable Me" and "The Secret World of Arrietty." -- By Jeff Sneider
INDIANA JONES COMING TO BLU-RAY
Paramount Home Media Distribution and Lucasfilm will release the complete set of films in the "Indiana Jones" franchise for the first time on Blu-ray on Sept. 18.
"Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures" will present all four films in 1080p high definition, accompanied by documentaries, interviews, featurettes and bonus features.
Steven Spielberg and sound designer Ben Burtt restored the films to preserve the original look, sound and feel of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," which was released in 1981. To do so, the original negative was first scanned and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.
The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. The sub bass also was redone up to modern specifications with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. -- By Marc Graser