Will Arnett has become something of a cult icon in the Lego world thanks to his performance as Batman in The Lego Batman franchise. His latest creation is Lego Masters, a Fox competition series on which a group of contestants compete to come up with the craziest builds.
“When Phil Lord and Chris Miller came to me and asked me to play Lego Batman, I didn’t really know it was going to be the first step on this journey that is still going. To get involved with the movies and see the huge, global impact of Lego on children and adults is incredible,” Arnett said during a panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event. “If you’d asked me 15 years ago, I’d have said ‘great toy.’ Now I really understand, and I think we all do through these movies [and the show].”
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The Arrested Development star hosts the series, which launched in February, alongside two expert judges: Amy Corbett, a senior design manager at Lego, and Jamie Berard, who oversees the Lego Creator Expert and Lego Architecture lines. Each week, the teams, consisting of two builders, are given a theme that they must build in order to win a $100,000 prize. Themes have included theme parks, a bridge building challenge and a Star Wars-centered week.
“I was really impressed with what great builders they were, but the ones that made it through had great imagination, the ability to translate that idea and come up and create something,” Arnett said of the series. “They are great engineers and great artists.”
The show is based on a UK format originally created by Tuesday’s Child for Channel 4. The U.S. version is produced by Endemol Shine North America, Tuesday’s Child and Brad Pitt’s Plan B. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch recently revealed he is eyeing a midseason return for the show next year.
Season 1’s winning build, Treasure of the Griffin, sparked much online debate, after creators Amy and Tyler Clites beat out Mark and Boone’s Artopia. Arnett was resolutely diplomatic with his opinion.
“I know it’s a hotly debated subject online, a lot of fans have their own favorites. It’s tough for me to weigh in — I thought all of the teams did such a great job on that final build and it went the way that it went,” he said.
He added, jokingly: “I’m going to give you a very diplomatic and political answer, because I have to, but if you want to do a side Zoom, I’ll tell you.”