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How Will Arnett & Chris Pratt conspired to make 'LEGO Masters' crossover with 'Jurassic World' happen
The latest LEGO Masters episodes goes big with Jurassic World, Chris Pratt and explosions!
For the third season of Fox's LEGO Masters, the series is once again bringing together LEGO-loving teams from all walks of life and age ranges to compete by making themed brick builds. Their creations are often creative and engineering marvels, but the show is amping up the stakes even more in tonight's episode, “Jurass-Brick World.” Themed around Jurassic World Dominion, the show welcomes the trilogy's leading man, Chris Pratt, and it introduces actual pyrotechnics integrated within the bricks builds.
SYFY WIRE got on the phone with LEGO Masters executive producer Michael Heyerman to find out how they managed to get the LEGO movie stars, Emmet (Pratt) and Batman (Arnett) to reunite, throw in a velociraptor and blow things up.
How did weaving in the Jurassic World franchise with the LEGO Masters series come about this season?
We had the Star Wars episode in Season 1. We had multiple tie-ins in Season 2. In Season 3, Universal came to us because the timing of the show's original air date [Editor's Note: Season 3 was scheduled to premiere in May 2022] was going to match up with the release of Jurassic World Dominion. They came to us and said, "What can you do?" Myself and the showrunner, Pip Wells, were like, "When we do integrations with a partner they are total. We want the dinosaurs. We want Chris Pratt. We want to build specific scenes from the movie. We want to be able to not just have it be a small part of the episode, but really embrace it and make it something really unique and special." For our fans, they love Jurassic World and Jurassic Park anyway, so this is just icing on the cake.
How tough was it to get Chris Pratt crazy filming schedule and the taping of the episode to work out?
It wasn't super easy. Chris was on a major tour for promoting the film. But honestly, Chris and Will are close, so they were often side-texting about it while I was emailing with the folks at Universal. I think they were actually one step ahead of us trying to make it happen. They both really wanted to do it and they're both really good friends. I think the Universal folks saw the value in it and so we just made it work. With any of these kind of large scale productions, joining your schedules together is always difficult. But if it's important to both sides, and you find a way.
The wraparounds with Chris and Will are great. Did you just let the two of them riff or did you script some things too?
It was a bit of both. Will is an EP on the show and Chris is obviously close friends with him so we wanted to make sure that we had good, solid, doable ideas that were approved by the Universal folks right when he walked in the door. We also knew that they are friends and they had done movies together so we could rely on we're going to get some improv that's going to be really fun. We wanted to make sure that we had a couple hours in the day to make sure that they could play and mess with the cast and do their thing. But then we had definitely had specific tentpoles that we needed to get.
Was that Blue the velociraptor the same one from the Universal Studios theme parks?
Yeah, it came from the Universal Studios Florida. And they told us how big it was and none of us really realized how big it was. [Laughs.] When it showed up on set, we were like, "Oh my gosh. That is huge!"
The dinosaur team builds this episode integrate actual special effects into their DNA. How did you work that out to be safe but doable?
Fox are always big fans of blowing up builds or destroying builds. [Laughs.] Our poor cerebral builders are like, "Please don't blow up our things." But it's really good TV. In Season 2, we had done a little bit with special effects, but nothing to the extent that we did with the Universal folks. We brought in a team, I think, from Florida as well to come in. We could afford XYZ things, so then we split it up with the gunpowder trails, the fireballs, and the sparks. We wanted [the teams] to know what they had so that they could integrate that into their themes so it kind of worked flawlessly. I think some builds really pulled that off, and some not as much. But that's always the exciting part.
Did you have safety teams talk to each of the teams about their designs so they knew what was possible with the pyro?
That's pretty much it. I mean, especially when we work with a big brand, we want our builders to be successful. We want the Universal folks or the Star Wars folks to walk away like, "Oh, my god, that was great. We'll do that again anytime!" We really want our builders to deliver the best of what they can possibly do. Certainly, there's a ton of safety steps that we go through. We definitely show them, prior to once they get their their fireball or their gunpowder trail, we show them very specifically how this works. Where you ignite it, how far it can go and all of the different things before they even start to build. They have a clear understanding of what they're working with before they even click the bricks together.
Did any of the teams get overly ambitious?
Sure. But the worst thing would be to have the Universal people go, "Well, that was not good." [Laughs.]
Speaking of builds, let's talk about that Jurassic Park logo made out of LEGO. Who built that?
We have a really, really brilliant consulting producer, Nathan Sawaya, who has been displayed at huge modern art museums all across the world. He makes all of our large scale props. I don't know how long that took him but it was absolutely stunning. And you know how branded partners are, so he had to get it absolutely, specifically right for everybody to sign off. He's absolutely a brilliant, talented artist who makes most of those things for us.
Did the scale of this episode inspire bigger things to come this season?
It's another notch in our belt of a giant IP that we have brought on board and made a really, really fun and interesting and nuanced and comedic episode. I think going forward, it's just showing other IP partners, like Harry Potter perhaps or whoever down the road, that we can play in the sandbox. There's not a brand or an IP too big for us to take on. Hopefully, they trust us with that. Obviously, LEGO has a great relationship with these IP partners, so we want to do more of them. It's something that a LEGO show can do really well.
Lastly, did Universal ask to take any of the dino builds home with them?
I think that there would have been more conversations about that. But since these were destroyed, it would have been like, "Hey, do you want this thing that we just blew up?" But I think that they were really happy with the final outcome. We certainly were and hopefully the show itself can immortalize those builds.
LEGO Masters Season 3 airs Wednesday at 9PM ET/PT on FOX. Jurassic World Dominion is streaming now on Peacock.