First Look at Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle!

By: Andrew Bermudez
(Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Headquarters; December 19, 2015)
     As we only have a week until the release of Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle, we would like to share a first look at this highly-anticipated movie! We have artwork, stories from the set, and a look at how the development for this film led to the development of Project U!
     According to studio records, plans to make a film based on the Alpha Team LEGO sets dates as far back as 2009, when a film called Alpha Team: The Movie was put up for proposal as part of the Fifth Anniversary Celebration. As history would have it, this film was cancelled after that year's big release, The Adventures of Legoman, bombed, causing studio management to redirect studio resources towards the then in-development Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile and Forest of Fear. It wasn't until two years later, in 2011, that the proposal for an Alpha Team movie was re-introduced.
     While brainstorming started in 2011, writing officially started in early 2012, long before Project U was an idea and right after its source material, LEGO Universe, was shut down. At this point, the original idea for Alpha Team, a film noir-esque movie based around the 2001 sets, was ditched in favor of the more traditional spy action film that you will see next week. However, development for the film was slow, since at that time, the release for Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients was already confirmed for 2014 to coincide with Ten Years of Going Crazy!. That left 2015 as the release year for this film, which helped determine the film's plot.
     It just so happens that 2015 is the tenth anniversary of the product line's ending, which saw the release of 4770 Blizzard Blaster and 4774 Scorpion Orb Launcher. Unfortunately, the official story for the theme never ended, as the last comic ended with Zed and Ogel about to face off. A contest was held to see who could come up with an ending, but a canon ending was never established. This then gave the idea for the new movie. First, the 2005 official story would be wrapped up, then the film would come to the present day for an all-new mission. The jungle setting, while similar to locations from the first and third Johnny Thunder films, was chosen because that was one location that had yet to appear in the Alpha Team story line, which is considered canon in the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. universe.
     Even though this film takes place after the Mission Deep Freeze sets, most of this film hearkens back to, and updates the look of, the 2001 sets, as the original six agents star in the movie. While the agents' personalities are un-changed, their physical appearances were altered into a 2001-2002 composite design. here's a break-down of what was changed.
  • Dash Justice - He has his 2001 hair and head, but his 2002 torso and legs.
  • Cam Attaway - Her head is the 2001 variant, but features the hair, torso, and legs from the 2002 variant.
  • Radia - Almost the whole figure is her 2001 design. However, her white hat was changed to black.
  • Crunch - Almost the whole figure is the 2001 design, with the exception that his bandanna hat was changed to a bean hat.
  • Charge - This figure is un-changed from his 2002 design.
  • Flex - This figure's head is from the 2002 design, but the rest of the figure is from 2001. His crash helmet received the addition of a trans-yellow visor.
  • Ogel - For the prologue, he looks the way he did in 2004. However, for the rest of the movie, his helmet, shoulder pads, and legs are from 2001, his torso is a customized TIE Fighter pilot torso with a 2008 robotic arm attached, and his head is from the 2007 evil wizard.
  • Skeleton Drones - All of the drones have had their heads replaced with the heads of the 2007 evil skeletons.
     But, as Project U began to form and all of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s movies were inducted into the same universe, it became possible for cross-integration between franchises. During the film's writing, the producers complained that there was too little that happens in the jungle. The agents land, then find what they're looking for. In a rare move, executive demanded that the movie be longer than planned, so another adversary, Mr. Bruce Cunningham (from the LEGO Adventurers Dino Island sets), was added into the film. When Project U was officially formulated in early 2013, more cross-overs were introduced. However, these are currently confidential.
     As this was an original story that takes place ten years after the end of the product line, there was also the opportunity to introduce a new agent. For this film, an entire sub-plot was constructed around a possible recruit named Steve Kenlow that Zed and Diamond Tooth investigate. Using a name that was originally the legal name for Com 50 (this is no longer considered canon) and the minifigure design for Max Burns (from LEGO Ultra Agents), Steve Kenlow brings a new generation into Alpha Team: he is independent, self-confident, self-motivated, and enthusiastic, but is also spoiled, cocky, stubborn, and his own boss (basically, he doesn't easily listen to others). He doesn't have much of a role in this film, but will play a larger part in this film's official sequel, Alpha Team: Mission Deep City. Michael Whalen, who played Lance Spears in Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients, is playing this character.
     Speaking of casting choices, this film was able to expand upon the technology used for Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients that allowed Marcus Hutchinson to play the Sunglasses Tourist. For this film, no less than four parts were given to members of the fan community, with Elizabeth Scarheart playing Cam Attaway and Dylan Johnson playing Crunch, Flex, and Ogel. Attack of the Fifty-Foot Hamster already used this technology with Max Edmeier playing Walter Parker, and will be expanded upon in the future.
     Another thing needed for the movie was a way for the agents to get around the world quickly. While the sets depicted far-flung places that were far-removed from the team's main headquarters (volcano island, underwater, and Antarctica), there was never a means showcased for getting to and from their missions. This plane was designed to rectify this issue, taking design cues from the TV show The Thunderbirds. Here's some fun facts: While this concept sketch takes cues from cargo planes mixed with the show's plane Thunderbird 2, the final plane looks more like an enlarged private jet, taking cues from the LEGO Cars set 8638 Spy Jet Escape. Also, in general, Alpha Team HQ is modeled after Tracey Island from The Thunderbirds.
     Now, we'll conclude with a look at the movie's theatrical poster, released this month for the Alpha Team Advent Calendar. Essentially, the poster is designed with a similarity of shape, as each agent's rope matches the shape of the others. Also depicted here are Ogel's image in the background, suggesting the danger that the agents will face, the film's release date, and a series of official credits at the bottom. As with all Project U posters, the Project U logo is featured at the bottom with the Maelstrom looming in the darkness.
     That's it for today, but check back for more holiday fun and watch the movie on December 25!
12/21/2015 Update: The character of Steve Kenlow has been re-cast due to last-minute complications. More info to follow as the story develops.

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Feast Your Eyes on the "Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle" Poster!
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