Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks join upcoming Lego movie

Morgan Freeman

Did you know that Warner Bros. is currently working on a big-budget feature film based on the classic Lego building blocks that all the cool kids played with as children? Did you know that the studio has tapped Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the directors responsible for the recent, surprisingly good 21 Jump Street film, to helm this 3D animated movie? Or that the Lego film (currently dubbed Lego: The Piece Of Resistance) is due to hit the big screen on February 28, 2014? Yes, all of that is true, but the project didn’t officially enter “interesting” territory until this morning when it was revealed that both Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman would be lending their voices to the film’s blocky, animated characters.

Deadline reports:

… I’m told that Freeman will voice a character called Vitruvius and they will join Chris Pratt and Will Arnett in the film. Latter reportedly plays a Lego version of Batman.

As for the plot behind this thing, Deadline also offers a helpful synopsis:

The plot: an ordinary Lego mini-figure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from gluing the universe together.

So, pretty typical animated family fare then. Alright, we’re willing to support that idea, and that bit about Freeman playing a character named Vitruvius opposite Will Arnett’s Batman-esque character has us concocting some pretty unlikely scenarios for how this plot might expand and play out. We’re going to assume, based on the “source material” and the directors involved that Lego: The Piece Of Resistance will either be a straight-up comedy or will include large comedic elements. As such it seems quite likely that the film will attempt to lampoon the recent, massively successful Dark Knight Returns. Given Freeman’s role in that movie and Deadline’s description of Arnett’s character as “a Lego version of Batman,” it seems all too likely that Freeman’s Vitruvius will spend at least some portion of his screen time outfitting the plastic hero in all kinds of enviable gadgets. The rest of his screen time, we presume, will just be Freeman’s voice emanating from a character who is either a wise, old mentor for the protagonist, the film’s voice of moral authority, or the literal incarnation of whatever deity Lego folk worship. Given his reassuring timbre any of these roles would be perfect for Morgan Freeman — or, more accurately, his likely-CGI alter ego.

Elizabeth Banks’ casting offers little to speculate wildly upon — she’s not often confused with major religious figures — but we are pleased that she’ll be taking part in the picture. Banks is a talented actress with a surprisingly large range (both comedic and dramatic) and her presence is a welcome sight in any movie production. Consider us tentatively stoked for this movie.