Opening to a solid $55 million domestic and a notably better opening overseas than the first LEGO movie, “The LEGO Batman Movie” has scored raves from fans and very good notices from critics.
We will see Will Arnett’s Batman return in “The LEGO Movie 2” in 2019, but the current film has yet to announce plans for a direct sequel. Director Chris McKay tells EW that the arc established in this film will go on to impact “The LEGO Movie 2” and potentially beyond:
“There’s definitely a part for Batman in LEGO 2. Everyone loves Will Arnett and the Batman character. There are going to be the repercussions of what’s happened in [LEGO Batman]. If you agree that he went through some change, there’s more stuff in store for Batman in LEGO 2.
LAST ACT MINOR SPOILER AHEAD
The third act of the film also involves not just many of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery of villains, but a whole bunch of bad guys from the Warners catalogue who are pulled from the Phantom Zone to terrorise Gotham City. Talking about the idea, McKay explained the intention and the handful of villains they wanted to get but couldn’t:
“The Joker needed to up his game and prove himself, and we talked about this being the Joker’s big romantic grand gesture. So in order to do that… I loved the [1978 Richard Donner-directed] Superman and the idea that the Phantom Zone, in our world, could possibly house all of the villains from other LEGO universes.
It’s almost like Cabin in the Woods. Or, in Last Action Hero, when Charles Dance says, I can go into all these movies and I can bring out Jack the Ripper or King Kong. When I was younger, watching that movie, I was somehow expecting a scene between King Kong and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I was always bummed it didn’t go there. [Laughs.] But in our world, we can do something like that and unleash all these characters into Batman’s world.
I would have had Kathy Bates from Misery, and [Sherlock Holmes nemesis] Moriarty, and at one point I pitched Daniel Day-Lewis’s character from Gangs of New York and David Carradine from Kill Bill.
At a certain point, though, you have to weigh what characters the kids going to get. In LEGO, it’s sometimes hard to get a really quick interpretation of something. I was already worried that we weren’t doing enough with some characters.
Also, at one point, we did put HAL from [2001: A Space Odyssey] into the movie, but it was a tough read. Maybe in future movies, we’ll try to bring more characters in.”
The film’s producer Dan Lin has also spoken a bit to Cinema Blend about the main series’ sequel, discussing how they’ll continue to expand upon the first film’s narrative:
“We don’t make these movies just to make them. With the LEGO Movie Sequel we’re going to explore themes we haven’t yet explored in the first movie. You can see where we ended the first movie, with Duplo, and Finn being encouraged by his dad to play with his little sister. So you can see it’s ripe for storytelling in the sequel, and certainly for themes we didn’t explore in the first movie as far as older sibling/younger sibling, how do boys play/how do girls play. So it’s really ripe for exploration.”
He also explained why leading characters from the first film, like Emmet and Wyldstyle, didn’t show up in “The LEGO Batman Movie”:
“We talked about it a lot. You can imagine the natural inclination is to include Wyldstyle and Emmet, they were so popular from the first movie, as well as other characters. We said, ‘You know what? Batman should have his own movie.’ He’ll meet up with Emmet and Wyldstyle in due time, so fans will see that pairing again, but we want to build to that.
This time, tell Batman’s own story, a story we haven’t seen before in the movies about what Batman really struggles with when he has everything in the world. He’s got money, he’s got adoring fans, he’s got great vehicles, great gadgets, but when he goes home he really has nothing.”
Warners has released a clip from “The LEGO Batman Movie” online, one which includes a Batman song ahead of the ‘I Like To Fight Around’ scene.