Warner Bros. believes in its franchises. It believes that people want to see 10 more DC Universe movies in the next five years. It believes that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be just as big as Harry Potter. And it believes in animation. This year at CinemaCon, Warner Bros. showed off an aggressive production slate from Warner Animation Group (or WAG), the creative think tank whose first-and-thus-far-only release was 2014’s acclaimed LEGO Movie.
The think tank includes LEGO Movie‘s Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Neighbors director Nicholas Stoller, Focus filmmakers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and other talented male human beings. First up is September’s Storks, a movie about the storks who deliver babies, followed by LEGO Batman next year, and then Smallfoot, a film about a Yeti who thinks (twist!) that humans are real. And there are more LEGO movies – a direct sequel to 2014’s film, plus a Ninjago spin-off, which was described as a mash-up of kung fu films and kaiju movies, and which looked like a LEGO version of Pacific Rim, which is an awesome idea no matter what anyone says.
Most intriguing of all is S.C.O.O.B., a Scooby-Doo reboot slated for 2018 directed by Tony Cervone. In an announcement video, S.C.O.O.B. was described as “our first shot at unlocking the whole Hanna-Barbera Universe,” implying that the long-term plan is for the Scooby-Doo reboot to lead into a whole series of linked franchises based on the cartoons of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Warner subsidiary DC Comics is rolling out a slate of Hanna-Barbera comics; if synergy holds, we could be getting a high-octane big-screen reboot of Wacky Races as early as 2020. Heck, SeaLab 2020 could get a reboot by 2020.