HOLLYWOOD – He said he’d never do it, but Austrian film director Michael Haneke is considering taking the helm of The Lego Movie 2.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller spoke about the Funny Games and White Ribbon director’s involvement with The Lego Movie 2 and his involvement with their previous projects:

Michael likes to keep the worlds seperate, but in truth he has been a part of our creative team since the very beginning. He is fascinated by the duality of life. On one side you have the brutality of existence and on the other the hopelessness of existence. We first met him when we were young film students and he was making Funny Games (US). We had a script for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and he very generously read it and gave us some notes.

What were the notes?

He said that the main character, Flint Lockwood, should die at the end. And Sam Sparks should die. And Flint’s dad should die. Everybody should die basically and food should take over the world. We obviously decided to go in another direction, but he encouraged us to work harder for the comedy.

How will he be involved in The Lego Movie 2?

Michael basically wrote the first two drafts of the first film. The whole subversion of capitalism thing was him. Very few people know this, but Michael also wrote the lyrics to Everything is Awesome, which when you think about it is awesome. Naturally we went to him for ideas on the sequel and jokingly asked if he would be interested in directing it. At first he was unsure because he is also scripting 23 Jump Street and he’s wrapping up production of the Amour sequel, but we are very hopeful he is going to say yes.

How will The Lego Movie 2 be different with Michael Haneke directing?

I’m not sure it’ll be darker. After all, Michael likes to defy expectations, but the script is in and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do.

The Lego Movie 2: Extinction will be filming in 2016.


HOLLYWOOD – Michael Shannon’s Comedy Punch – which was initially part of Tommy Lee Jones’ Laugh In  (for more on that CLICK HERE) – has now been slated for its own slot in the Fall season.

The show which involves Michael Shannon punching unsuspecting members of the public in the back of the head, the face or the kidneys to hilarious results was originally a five minute slot, but its success has been such that HBO have booked a fifteen part season with a two hour special to get the ball rolling. We spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Michael Shannon.

Mr Shannon, sir, is this a chance to show off your diverse talents?

I’m always the psychopath, or the lunatic. The homicidal killer. Something like that. But I have a lot more to offer on the comedy and light entertainment side of the business. People are surprised they say, ‘You don’t know comedy! You don’t know what’s funny!’ But I do.

For example?

Like when I punch people and they fall down, that’s funny. When they bleed and they look scared and you can see in their eyes, they think they’re going to die, that’s funny. And when they cower and hold their hands up and beg for you to not punch them again, and they’re like animals who, if you kill their souls, will become your slaves in heaven, that’s, you know, funny.

Will the format be the same?

Yeah, pretty much. I try something different now and then, like kicking someone’s legs out from under them, but I usually go back to punching them. Oh, and we’re going to have celebrity guests. 

Will they be punching people too?

No I’ll punch them. 

Who like?

Woody Allen, Eli Wallach, Max Von Sydow, the chick from Amour.

Emmanuelle Riva?

Yeah that’s her.

But these are all quite elderly people.


Well, won’t punching them be risky. They could die. 

Yeah. Ha ha. I know. The color goes out of their faces. Ha ha. And they sort of wheeze out that last breath like letting off a sparrow into eternity. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. 

Michael Shannon’s Comedy Punch will air in the Fall of this year.


VIENNA – Having won the Oscar and golden Palme d’or for his French remake of Meet the Fockers, Michael Haneke is branching out into other fields of entertainment, opening an amusement park in the suburbs of Vienna based on his filmography.

Haneke Land looks set to rival Euro-Disney and Lego Land as the most popular European destination to take the kids for a fun day out.

As Haneke showed us around the site, the Austrian director and famous misery guts said he was ‘stoked’  about the project.
All my films are represented. For instance, the mini-golf is called Funny Games and you have to break a smug middle class man’s leg. In the Seventh ContinentFamily Trip, you go through a car wash into the ride then you destroy everything you own and commit suicide. It’s fantastic!
The White Ribbon of Fun anticipates the cruelty and horror of the Second World War via childhood sadism. ‘It’s like a merry-go-round but the horses all trip up and have to be humanely destroyed,’  says Mike.
There’s also the Piano Teacher Hall of Mirrors, Benny’s Video-rama and the Hidden Experience during which someone you bullied when you were kids cuts his throat in front of you and your family.

Haneke Land is due to open in the first week of May and the first 90 customers will receive a complementary punch in the throat.


NEW YORK – Austrian film maker Michael Haneke’s austere masterpiece Amour has been picking up nominations and awards every since it premièred at Cannes earlier this year and won the coveted Palme d’Or. But there is one award it won’t be getting: Best Comedy Film 2012.
The story of an elderly couple facing up to their own mortality and disintegration with dignity and stoicism was deemed ‘Just not funny enough’ by Alvin Mayers the chief judge of the Comedy Awards, hosted at the BinBin Club Times Square, NYC.

There was one scene with like a pigeon that had some potential but it just didn’t come off. I’m not saying Haneke needs to go gross out, but come on man, make a goddam effort. 

When Studio Exec  met up with his glumness earlier today, Michael Haneke said ‘It was typical’ and shook his head miserably:

I’ve been trying for years. I mean Funny Games I made twice because I thought they’d missed the joke the first time around as I’d stupidly made it in German. But alas, nothing. Everything is just falling apart and miserable and we die. We all die. Not now but later. Even that is depressing. We don’t die now. We have to wait.

Now with the competition effectively eliminated, the field looks clear for Here Comes the Boom to make a clean sweep.