Project U is a multi-year promotional project that will feature the release of twelve major animated films. These films will tell both their own stories and one main story line based on the massively multiplayer online game LEGO Universe.
Promotion Details Edit
- Promotion Duration: February 21, 2014 - On-going
- Promotion Type: Film Saga
- Number of Films Released: 12
- Other Content Featured: Contests, Comics, Books, Polls, Promotions
- Has Fan Involvement?: Yes
Starting with an ad for the energy company Solarum Industries, Project U opens with a board meeting at the said company over the new ad. In the meantime, a secret agent named Pete Slips grabs a new Solarum chip, examines it, and reports his findings.
In the evening in January 2015, a man named Phil Byrd witnesses a mob hit while at the local marina. Concerned, he gets witness protection immunity, but then takes his protection out on the Mob Boss. Phil takes over the moss boss' position and becomes Folio Byrd, the Kingfisher.
That same evening, Henrietta William, a scientist at the Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmic Kinesis, tells the story of Billy Lugosi, the mad scientist from Forest of Fear. In the flashback, Jim Carew delivers a package containing the hamster Black Bear. After a scuffle, the hamster is killed, but Billy brings it back to life. This causes the hamster to grow to fifty feet tall. The hamster goes on a rampage, eating a police officer and two cars, but is stopped by karate expert Nana. Henrietta concludes the story with her new assistant, Torgo.
Later that same year, Alpha Team receives a distress call that the daughter of U.N. delegate Henry Cainman has been kidnapped in South America. Responding to the call, Alpha Team investigates the report, only to be captured by Mr. Cunningham and his bandits. In the meantime, Zed and Diamond Tooth investigate a possible Alpha Team recruit.
After speaking to Mr. Cunningham, Alpha Team escapes his base, but is stopped the next day when they find a paved road in the jungle. Charge investigates, and just as he finds out that the distress call was faked, the rest of the team is captured by Ogel's drones.
In his base, Ogel reveals that he is alive and tells Dash about his plans to take over the world. Charge is able to free the other agents and they engage in a fire fight with the drones while Dash, having also escaped, is taunted by Ogel. Eventually, a mysterious helper named Steve Kenlow helps the agents destroy Ogel's orbs and they all escape the base. Ogel also escapes, ready to hatch another plan for another day. In the meantime, Mr. Cunningham allies with Baron Typhonus to spread his power.
Flashing back to Ancient Egypt, the story of the cruel pharaoh Amset-Ra unfolds as he was cursed to spend all eternity in his pyramid, while the treasures that are the key to his power were locked away. However, a spell was placed that would reawaken the pharaoh thousands of years later.
In 1917 Beersheba, World War 1 soldiers Jake Raines and Mac McCloud discover one of these treasures, which captures the attention of Archibald Hale in 1924. Convinced that Jake has one of the six treasures of Amset-Ra, the three, along with associate Helena Skvalling, set out to uncover the rest of the treasures in Egypt.
Through sand storms, armies of mummies, and living statues, the four adventurers recover all of the treasures, but then quickly lose them to the mummy hordes, which take the treasures to Amset-Ra. Racing to beat the mummies and save the world, the adventurers reach the Scorpion Pyramid and, after losing Mac and Helena to the mummies, make their way inside. Inside, they discover that Amset-Ra's power is derived not from spells and magic, but from alien technology from the extraterrestrial warlord Hypaxxus-8. This technology is then used by the living mummies to reawaken Amset-Ra, who assaults the adventurers. Finding Mac and Helena still alive, Jake and Archibald reclaim the treasures and free their comrades. The four use the treasures to put Amset-Ra back to sleep, which reverses the curse and leaves the world saved.
In 2020, Hiram Aziz, briefly visiting the Amset-Ra exhibit in the Egyptian Museum, becomes terrorized while on his phone when Amset-Ra and his mummies come back to life. Just as Amset-Ra is about to kill Hiram Aziz, the curse expires, causing the mummies to fall to the floor.
The rest of the synopsis for Project U is currently under wraps, but will be slowly revealed as each film is released.
Writing for the scripts that would eventually become Project U started as early as 2011, with the now-defunct Pharaoh's Quest: The Interactive Adventure. However, the scripts did not exist as a single unit at this time, as all work was being put on Forest of Fear and Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients.
Work on the other scripts, especially Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle, started as early as 2012, although they still did not exist as a single unit at this time. During this time, a poll was held to see what the other scripts that would eventually join Project U would be.
Early in 2013, during the development for A Friend of the Police, all of the scripts were connected into one story line, beginning to create what is today Project U. In late 2013, the order of the films was finalized, and every single Mustache Maniacs Film Co. movie was officially inducted into the newly-created cinematic universe.
On February 12, 2014, an announcement was made that Project U-Build Play Set Adventures based on the Dino Attack RPG would be created and released in collaboration with the RPG's players. At this time, the Dino Attack RPG was declared canon for Dimension 525 of the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. cinematic universe.
The project was officially announced on February 21, 2014 at The Second Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards by Dash Justice. A contest, the Nexus Force Character Creation Sweepstakes, was also started at this time. Filming officially began September 21, 2014. However, the first film, Solarum, was released July 27, 2014 as part of BRAWL 2014.
2015 really kicked off Project U, with the release of the second film, The Kingfisher, occurring on January 4, 2015. This film was made as part of THAC 12 and introduced the character of Gangster Folio Byrd. Later that same month, Attack of the Fifty-Foot Hamster was released, telling the back-story of Billy Lugosi. Late in 2015, despite several set-backs, Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle was released in parts, with additional parts released through April 2016. Because of the extensive work needed, no other Project U films were released in 2016. In fact, the next Project U film, Pharaoh's Quest: The Curse of Amset-Ra, wouldn't be released until April 17, 2020.
Listed here are all of the films associated with Project U, in their order of release.
- Solarum (2014)
- The Kingfisher (2015)
- Attack of the Fifty-Foot Hamster (2015)
- Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle (2015)
- Pharaoh's Quest: The Curse of Amset-Ra (2020)
- A Future in the Past (Not Yet Released)
- Van Helbrick and the Monster Fighters (Not Yet Released)
- Alpha Team: Mission Deep City (Not Yet Released)
- Johnny Thunder and the Wonders Beneath the Waves (Not Yet Released)
- B.I.O. Corps (Not Yet Released)
- Mysteries of the Arctic (Not Yet Released)
- Legends of the Universe (Not Yet Released)
Other Media Edit
Listed here is all of the other media that was released as part of Project U, in chronological order.
- Nexus Force Character Creation Sweepstakes (Contest; 2014)
- Legends of the Universe Special Election (Poll; 2014)
- Project U-Build Play Set Adventures (Play Sets; 2014)
- The Quest for Canonization (Contest; 2015)
- Year of the Clock (Promotion; 2016 - 2017)
- DINO Attack: Saga of a Conflict (Comics; 2016)
- The Canon that Time Forgot (Contest; 2017)
- Digital Decade (Promotion; 2018 - 2019)
Listed here is all media for Project U that was cancelled.
- Project U: The Complete Visual Guide (Book) (2020)
- Clyde Uswik
- Juliet Parker
- Cromwell Powell
- Pete Slips
- Gangster Folio Byrd
- Mob Boss
- Billy Lugosi
- Dr. Henrietta William
- Dr. Jim Carew
- Officer Walter Parker
- Captain Bill Stewart
- Dash Justice
- Cam Attaway
- Diamond Tooth
- Tee Vee
- Drone Commander 13666
- Henry Cainman
- Steve Kenlow
- Mr. Bruce Cunningham
- Baron Typhonus
- Archibald Hale
- Jake Raines
- Mac McCloud
- Helena Skvalling
- Col. Ronald Hawking
- Dr. Hiram Aziz
To anticipate the release of the Project U films and to tease the project, there were several instances of foreshadowing inserted throughout Mustache Maniacs Film Co. media.
- To count down to the release of The Second Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards, the names of the characters being introduced in Project U were slowly revealed on the Characters page of this Wiki.
- For a short period of time, the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. website had a page titled "Code Quest," which had players play through old LEGO Alpha Team mini games and get a code. This code was then used to unlock another page that teased Alpha Team: Mission Deep Jungle.
- In A Friend of the Police, after Chase McCain dismisses Frank Honey, Frank heads over to the TV and turns it on. The news report on-screen is about a pod containing ASR1 landing. The pods were a major part of LEGO Universe's pre-release promotional campaign.
- In Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients, a newspaper that Steven Sever reads has an article about pod 2 landing, another reference to the campaign. The pods also play a major role in Project U's story line.
- In Late for the Soccer Match, the idea of combining films was introduced, as star Peter Whitman is featured alongside returning characters Wendy Simmons and Ulysses S. Powell.
- When the 2012 survey was being conducted, some themes were forgotten, such as Hero Factory. However, themes that were being developed into scripts at the time that would form the body of Project U were intentionally excluded, like Alpha Team.
- An early promotional poster for the now-defunct Pharaoh's Quest: The Interactive Adventure boasted, "Before Johnny Thunder, there was Jake Raines!," insinuating that both characters exist in the same world, though not in the same time period. The poster has since been altered to become a teaser poster for Pharaoh's Quest: The Curse of Amset-Ra.
- Character bios on the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. website were altered one night in 2013 to include a relation to characters such as Dr. Rodney Rathbone and Lord Vampyre. Both of these characters will appear in Project U.
- The Project U logo is modeled after the beta version of the LEGO Universe logo.
- An unwritten rule exists for Project U that each film featured must feature at least one character that will appear in at least one other Project U film.
- Project U marks the first time Mustache Maniacs Film Co. arranged official partnerships. In early 2014, the company made arrangements for collaboration with the authors of the DINO Attack RPG on BZPower.
- The idea behind Project U of placing every Mustache Maniacs Film Co. movie in one universe is inspired both by LEGO Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.