|The Lego Batman Movie|
|Directed by||Chris McKay|
|Story by||Seth Grahame-Smith|
|Music by||Lorne Balfe|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$312 million|
The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 computer-animated superhero comedy film produced by Warner Animation Group, DC Entertainment, RatPac Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Dan Lin's Lin Pictures, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's Lord Miller Productions, Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment and Animal Logic, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was directed by Chris McKay in his directorial debut, from a screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, and John Whittington, and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Based on the characters from the DC Universe created by DC Comics and the Lego DC Super Heroes' Batman toy line, the film is a collaboration between production houses from the United States, Australia, and Denmark, the first spin-off in The Lego Movie film series and the second installment overall. The story follows the title character as he attempts to overcome his greatest fear to stop the Joker's latest plan. The film features Will Arnett reprising his role as Batman from The Lego Movie alongside Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes.
Development of The Lego Batman Movie started in October 2014, after Warner Bros. announced several Lego films, following the critical and commercial success of The Lego Movie, while Chris McKay was hired to direct the film after being replaced by Rob Schrab to direct the sequel to The Lego Movie. The film pays homage for numerous references to previous Batman films, cartoons and comics. Like The Lego Movie, the animation was provided by Animal Logic. Lorne Balfe composed the film's musical score.
The Lego Batman Movie had its world premiere in Dublin, Ireland on January 29, 2017, and was released in the United States on February 10, 2017 in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX, IMAX 3D and 4DX formats. The film received generally positive reviews from critics for its animation, voice acting, soundtrack, visual style, and humor, and was also commercially successful, having grossed $310 million worldwide against a budget of around $80 million. A sequel, Lego Superfriends, was announced in 2018, but was cancelled after Universal Pictures acquired the Lego franchise rights.
Within the DC superhero dimension of the Lego multiverse, Batman protects Gotham City and fights crime. During his latest mission to stop the Joker and Gotham's other supervillains from destroying the city, Batman hurts Joker's feelings by telling him he is not as important in his life as he thinks he is, leading Joker to seek the ultimate revenge on him.
The following day, Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne attends the city's winter gala, which is celebrating both the retirement of Commissioner Gordon and the ascension of his daughter Barbara as the city's new police commissioner, only to be infuriated by Barbara's plans to restructure the police to function without the need of Batman. Joker crashes the party with the city's other villains, all of whom surrender except Harley Quinn, who disappears during the confusion.
Knowing that Joker is up to no good, Batman plans to steal Superman's Phantom Zone projector, a device that can banish anyone to the Phantom Zone, which houses some of the most dangerous villains in the Lego multiverse, only for Alfred to intervene and advise him to take care of Dick Grayson, whom he unwittingly adopted as his son during the gala earlier. Reluctantly agreeing to do so, Batman fosters Dick as Robin, whereupon the pair successfully recovers the projector from the Fortress of Solitude and breaks into Arkham Asylum to send the Joker to the Phantom Zone. Suspecting that Joker wanted to be sent there, Barbara locks up Batman and Robin.
While the projector is being seized as evidence, Harley steals it back as part of Joker's plan, and frees him, allowing him to return to Gotham with all the villains he had recruited in the Phantom Zone. Realizing that the city does need him after all, Barbara releases Batman and Robin and teams up with them and Alfred to stop the new threat.
Although Batman finds himself able to trust and rely on his new team upon reaching Wayne Island, he chooses to send them away, fearing that he might lose them just like his parents. Upon facing him alone, Joker, believing how Batman is incapable of changing his ways, zaps him to the Phantom Zone before stealing the Batcave's stash of confiscated bombs to destroy Gotham City. Arriving in the Phantom Zone, Batman witnesses the harm his arrogance has caused everyone and accepts his greatest fear: being part of a family. Making a deal with the Zone's gatekeeper Phyllis to be allowed back to Gotham in order to retrieve the Zone's escaped prisoners, Batman arrives in time to save his teammates, apologizing to them for leaving them and requesting their help to stop Joker.
With help from Gotham's other villains, who felt neglected by the Joker when he refused to break them out of Arkham, Batman and his team defeat the escaped villains and send them back to the Phantom Zone. However, they fail to stop Joker's bombs from going off, and the explosion begins to tear the city apart at the plates beneath it. Batman convinces Joker to help him by telling him he gives him purpose to be the hero he is, and with the help of every civilian and villain, they manage to save Gotham, chain-linking themselves together to reassemble the plates.
With the city saved, Batman prepares to be taken back into the Phantom Zone to face the consequences of his earlier behavior, only to be rejected by Phyllis, who chooses to let him remain after realizing he is a hero and seeing how much he had changed to save everyone. Afterward, Batman gives Joker and the other villains a head start to avoid capture, knowing they will be no match for the new Bat-family.
Several actors voice the various villains from Batman's rogues gallery, including Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face (as a nod to his role as Harvey Dent, Two-Face's former identity, in the 1989 Batman film), Riki Lindhome as Poison Ivy, Conan O'Brien as Riddler, Jason Mantzoukas as the Scarecrow, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Matt Villa as Killer Croc, Kate Micucci as Clayface, Doug Benson as Bane (the character's appearance and Benson's performance are meant to satirize Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises), John Venzon as Penguin, David Burrows as Mr. Freeze (Burrows also voices an anchorman), and Laura Kightlinger as Orca (Kightlinger also voices a reporter). The film also features villains from other franchises, including Sauron's Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (voiced by Jemaine Clement), the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (also voiced by Riki Lindhome), Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter (voiced by Eddie Izzard), King Kong from King Kong, the Swamp Creature from various monster films (both voiced by Seth Green), Medusa from Greek mythology (also voiced by Lauren White), and the Daleks from Doctor Who.
The voice of the Batcomputer (credited as 'Puter), depicted here as an artificial intelligence controlling all of Batman's gadgets and vehicles, is done by Siri.
In October 2014, following the success of The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. greenlit several multiple Lego films produced, including The Lego Batman Movie, a spin-off starring Batman. Warner Bros. scheduled the release of The Lego Batman Movie for 2017, moving the release date for The Lego Movie 2 (later titled as The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) to 2018. Chris McKay, who co-directed The Lego Movie, was brought on board to direct the film, making it his solo directorial debut. Will Arnett returned to voice Batman, with the story written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and the film produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. On April 20, 2015, Warner Bros. scheduled The Lego Batman Movie for a February 10, 2017 release.
In an interview about his work on the film, McKay stated that working on the film was "a very mixed blessing" owing partly to the film's hectic time schedule for its production, remarking that the two-and-a-half years allocated to the film made it difficult to fit in everything that he wanted for the movie, considering his earlier work on The Lego Movie. His work on The Lego Batman Movie was influenced by the comedy portrayed in both The Naked Gun and Airplane! film series, with his pitch for the film to the studios being described as like "Jerry Maguire as directed by Michael Mann". His proposal to combine all the Batman eras featured in the comic book series and various media formats, including movies and comic series, despite a couple of issues—the total inconsistency inherent to such a task, and Lego rejecting some of the characters he proposed to include in the film—was based on his desire of how to portray Robin within the film's setting. In an interview regarding his version of the superhero duo, McKay stated:
"I was thinking that we were basically taking the Burt Ward Robin and sticking him in the Batmobile with the Zack Snyder/Ben Affleck Batman, or the Frank Miller Batman. And putting these two different energies together. Somebody who’s like the grumpiest, dark grittiest, broodiest Batman with the most positive, indefatigable kid."
In 2019, prior to the release of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Chris Miller stated that all of the Lego movies are based on the imagination of a child character, with The Lego Movie events happening in young Finn's mind. Miller affirmed that The Lego Batman Movie was also from the imagination of Finn and Bianca, though the characters did not appear within the film, although Bianca was alluded to as Phyllis' boss.
In July 2015, Arnett's Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera was cast to voice Robin. In August 2015, Zach Galifianakis entered final negotiations to voice the Joker. In October 2015, Rosario Dawson was cast to voice Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon who later becomes the crime-fighting heroine Batgirl. The following month, Ralph Fiennes was cast as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler. Initial reports indicated that Mariah Carey was playing Commissioner Gordon. However, she was actually cast as Mayor McCaskill.
As part of its production, the film was designed to make numerous references to previous Batman films, cartoons and comics. In two distinct scenes where Barbara Gordon depicts Batman's long history of services for the police and Alfred quotes Batman's previous films (as previous moments of emotional crisis), they mention: the 1940s Batman serials (erroneously placed earlier than his comic books appearances); the films Batman (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016); the television shows Batman (1960s), Batman: The Animated Series (1990s), Batman Beyond (2000s) and The Batman (2000s); and the comics Detective Comics #27 (Batman's introductory story), The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and Gotham by Gaslight (1989). Other references include previous costumes worn by Batman and Robin and the various Batmobiles used. In most cases, their appearances in the film are done in a Lego style, with the exception being footage from a live-action shot of Adam West's depiction of Batman in the 1960s Batman series and a picture of Batman's suit from Batman and Robin. Climactic events from past Batman films involving the Joker have been mentioned, including "that time with the parade and the Prince music" (1989's Batman) and "the two boats" (The Dark Knight).
Alongside Joker, the main antagonist of the film's story, and Superman, who features heavily and has notable links to the Christopher Reeve films Superman (1978) and its sequel Superman II (1980), many other DC characters, both villains associated with Batman and other DC superheroes, feature in the film. The film's villains who have been featured in Batman comics, films and cartoons include: Man-Bat; Captain Boomerang; Egghead; Crazy Quilt; Eraser; Polka-Dot Man; Mime; Tarantula; King Tut from the 1960s series; Killer Moth; March Harriet; Zodiac Master; the Mutant Leader from The Dark Knight Returns; Doctor Phosphorus; Magpie; Calculator; Hugo Strange; an unidentified version of Red Hood; the Kabuki Twins from The Batman; Orca; Gentleman Ghost; Clock King; Calendar Man; Kite Man; Catman; Zebra-Man; and a variation of Condiment King from Batman: The Animated Series. The other DC heroes who feature, both from the Justice League and Super Friends, include: Wonder Woman; Aquaman; The Flash; Cyborg; Green Arrow; Black Canary; Hawkman; Hawkgirl; Martian Manhunter; Apache Chief; Black Vulcan; El Dorado; Samurai; Wonder Dog; the Wonder Twins and Gleek. Although not part of the DC franchise, Iron Man from Marvel Comics is referenced in the film as part of a small joke about Batman's password for entering the Batcave, referencing the famous rivalry between DC and Marvel.
The film also features characters from other notable franchises and film series with them following the same narrative of The Lego Movie in that they came from worlds that co-exist alongside others of the Lego Universe, which are made up of Lego playsets of the various media franchises. These additional characters include: Medusa from Lego Minifigures; the Swamp Creature, Evil Mummy, and Lord Vampyre from Lego Monster Fighters; King Kong; the Daleks from Doctor Who; the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz; the Kraken from Clash of the Titans; Agent Smith and his clones from The Matrix; the great white shark from Jaws; Voldemort from Harry Potter; Sauron from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit; the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptors from Jurassic Park; The Skeleton Warriors from Jason and the Argonauts and the Gremlins. The way in which the Gremlins attack a plane references The Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".
The film also includes Batman watching the scene from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise says "You complete me" (which makes Batman laugh out loud); this line had previously been quoted by The Joker in The Dark Knight. In the scene where Batman discusses possible team names he mentions Fox Force Five, which is the name of Mia Wallace's failed television pilot mentioned in Pulp Fiction. The film's use of Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" is a nod to the romantic comedy Never Been Kissed. The film's other references include Gleaming the Cube and Gymkata.
The casting of Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face references the 1989 Batman film, in which Williams played District Attorney Harvey Dent, before his transition to Two-Face. Director Chris McKay said the film's depiction of Gotham City was inspired by Chicago partly due to Christopher Nolan having filmed The Dark Knight Trilogy in Chicago.
A scene from The Lego Movie is reused in the film, depicting Emmet falling down from Lord Business's tower into the real world, as television journalists explain what would happen if Joker detonates his bomb.
Main article: The Lego Batman Movie (soundtrack)
The Lego Batman Movie is the first in the franchise not to be composed by Mark Mothersbaugh; the film score is composed by Lorne Balfe. The soundtrack album was released by WaterTower Music on February 3, 2017, through two-disc CD and for digital download, while the vinyl version was released on May 19, 2017.
The first teaser trailer for The Lego Batman Movie was released on March 24, 2016, and features the song "Black and Yellow" by Wiz Khalifa. It was attached to showings of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theatres. A second teaser trailer was released on March 28, 2016, and features references to all live-action iterations of Batman, from the 1960s Batman TV series to Batman v Superman. A third trailer was released on July 23, 2016. A fourth trailer was released on November 4, 2016. Over twenty Lego sets inspired by scenes from the film were released for the film including two sets of Collectible Minifigures. A Story Pack for the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions based on The Lego Batman Movie was released on February 10, 2017, alongside the film. The pack adds a six-level story campaign adapting the events of the film, and includes playable figures of Robin and Batgirl, a driveable Batwing, and a constructible gateway model based on the Batcomputer. A Fun Pack including Excalibur Batman and his Bionic Steed was also released the same day.
On January 14, 2017, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chevrolet unveiled a life-sized Lego Batmobile inspired by the design featured in the film, constructed from around 350,000 Lego pieces. As a related promotion, a Bat-Signal (alternating between Batman's emblem and the Chevrolet logo) was projected on the Renaissance Center over the weekend, and Chevrolet released a new television commercial tying into the film, featuring the Batmobile as a crossover with its ongoing "Real People, Not Actors" campaign.
Warner Bros. released several promotional tie-ins on the week of the movie's release. LEGO billboard versions of several TV shows were shown outside of the studio lot, that took 300 hours to make out of 10,000 bricks. The Big Bang Theory included a LEGO version of the opening sequence in the episode "The Locomotion Reverberation" that first aired on CBS. In addition, the network aired two LEGO commercials featuring Batman and the cast.
The CW featured LEGO end cards for Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow, respectively, on the week of the movie's release. All four DC shows also include a special variant of the Berlanti Productions logo that featured Batman's cameo and a new recording from Greg Berlanti's real-life father who says "Batman, move your head." instead of the usual "Greg, move your head." In addition, the network aired two commercials where Batman interacts with the characters from each show.
The film's world premiere was conducted in Dublin, Ireland on January 29, 2017, where upon it went into general release from February 8; it was released in Denmark on February 9, and in the United States and the United Kingdom on February 10. Its overall release saw movie theatres displaying the film in 3D, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX 3D and 4DX. though the latter format was restricted to 3D for North America, while international countries were able to view it in IMAX.
The Lego Batman Movie is notably the first animated movie based on Batman to receive a full theatrical release since Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993).
The LEGO Batman Movie was released on Digital HD on May 19, 2017. The release included the theatrical short film The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short, as well as four new short films: Dark Hoser, Batman is Just Not That Into You, Cooking with Alfred and Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?. The LEGO Batman Movie was released on DVD, Blu-ray (2D and 3D), and Ultra HD Blu-ray by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on June 13, 2017. The film debuted at No. 3 on the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart.
The Lego Batman Movie grossed $175.8 million in the United States and Canada and $136.2 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $312 million, against a production budget of $80 million.
In the United States and Canada, The Lego Batman Movie opened alongside two other sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter 2, and was projected to gross around $60 million from 4,088 theaters in its opening weekend. It earned $2.2 million from Thursday-night previews and $14.5 million on Friday. It went on to open with $53 million, finishing first at the box office. In its second weekend, the film grossed $32.7 million (a small drop of 38.4%), again topping the box office; with the additional President's Day holiday on Monday, it made a total of $42.7 million for the weekend. In its third weekend of release, the film dropped to second at the box office, behind newcomer Get Out, grossing $19.2 million (a drop of 41.2%).
Outside North America the film was simultaneously released in 61 countries, and was expected to gross around $40 million over its first three days. It ended up grossing $37 million in its opening weekend, including $9.3 million in the United Kingdom, $2.6 million in Mexico, $2.3 million in Germany and $2.2 million in Russia.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90% based on 315 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny—and beautifully animated—family-friendly mayhem." It was ranked the 23rd best superhero movie of all time on the site. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a positive review, praising its comedy, and saying: "The LEGO Batman Movie isn't the same experience as watching The LEGO Movie, but I also don't think it's trying to be. It's trying to be a fun superhero movie with clever callbacks to previous Batman films (every single Batman movie all the way back to the 1940s serials are referenced) that can, at least, provide DC superhero fans with a taste of fun amidst all the doom and gloom. (That can either be a reference to 'the real world' or the current DC Cinematic Universe films, you can choose either one you want or both.) And at that, The LEGO Batman Movie succeeds." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+" and wrote, "LEGO Batman revs so fast and moves so frenetically that it becomes a little exhausting by the end. It flirts with being too much of a good thing. But rarely has corporate brainwashing been so much fun and gone down with such a delightful aftertaste." Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times was positive in his review, saying, "In its best moments, this gag-a-minute Bat-roast serves as a reminder that, in the right hands, a sharp comic scalpel can be an instrument of revelation as well as ridicule." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post praised the film for its heart, humor, and action which "snap together, with a satisfying click."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref.|
|AACTA Awards||December 6, 2017||Best Sound||Gregg Landaker, Rick Lisle, Wayne Pashley, Fabian Sanjurgo and Michael Semanick||Nominated|||
|Best Visual Effects or Animation||Rob Coleman, Damien Gray, Miles Green, Amber Naismith and Craig Welsh|
|Annie Awards||February 3, 2018||Directing in a Feature Production||Chris McKay|||
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Zach Galifianakis|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||David Burrows, Matt Villa and John Venzon|
|American Cinema Editors||January 26, 2018||Best Edited Animated Feature Film||Won|||
|Art Directors Guild||January 27, 2018||Excellence in Production Design for an Animated Film||Grant Freckelton|||
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||February 24, 2018||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated||Jason Oliver, Michael Semanick, Gregg Landaker, Wayne Pashley, Stephen Lipson and Lisa Simpson|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||January 11, 2018||Best Animated Film||Chris McKay||Nominated|||
|Detroit Film Critics Society||December 7, 2017||Best Animated Film||The LEGO Batman Movie||Won|||
|Empire Awards||March 18, 2018||Best Animated Film||Nominated|||
|Florida Film Critics Circle||December 23, 2017||Best Animated Film|||
|Georgia Film Critics Association||January 12, 2018||Best Animated Film|||
|Golden Tomato Awards||January 3, 2018||Best Animated Film||2nd Place|||
|Golden Trailer Awards||June 6, 2017||Best Animation/Family||Won|||
|Most Original Trailer||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Awards||February 18, 2018||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation||Wayne Pashley, Rick Lisle, Fabian Sanjurjo, Andrew Miller, Mario Gabrieli, Jared Dwyer, Emma Mitchell, Nigel Christensen, Terry Rodman, Christopher S. Aud, F. Hudson Miller, Beth Bezzina, Sonal Joshi, Derryn Pasquill, Linda Yeaney, John Simpson and Will Kaplan|||
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 16, 2017||Best Original Score – Animated Film||Lorne Balfe|||
|Houston Film Critics Society||January 6, 2018||Best Animated Film||The LEGO Batman Movie|||
|Heartland Film Festival||October 22, 2017||Truly Moving Picture Award||Chris McKay||Won|||
|IGN Awards||December 19, 2017||Best Animated Movie||The LEGO Batman Movie||Runner-up|||
|Kids' Choice Awards||March 24, 2018||Favorite Animated Film||Nominated|||
|Movieguide Awards||March 2018||Best Movie for Families|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||May 7, 2017||Best Comedic Performance||Will Arnett|||
|Online Film Critics Society||December 28, 2017||Best Animated Film||The LEGO Batman Movie|||
|Producers Guild of America Award||January 20, 2018||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture||Dan Lin, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller|||
|Satellite Awards||February 10, 2018||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||The LEGO Batman Movie|||
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||December 17, 2017||Best Animated Feature||Chris McKay|||
|Teen Choice Awards||August 13, 2017||Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Will Arnett|||
|Visual Effects Society||February 13, 2018||Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature||Rob Coleman, Amber Naismith, Grant Freckelton and Damien Gray|||
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||December 8, 2017||Best Animated Feature||The LEGO Batman Movie|||
|Best Animated Voice Performance||Will Arnett|
Lego Dimensions includes characters from various franchises, including The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. The game's Starter Pack includes Wyldstyle, while Emmet, Benny, Bad Cop, and Unikitty are included in Fun Packs. From The Lego Batman Movie, Robin and Batgirl are included in a Story Pack while Excalibur Batman is included in a Fun Pack. However, Robin gets his voice actor changed in the game to Robbie Daymond and can also use his appearance from Teen Titans Go! if he is used in the Teen Titans Go! World.
Based on The Lego Batman Movie, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the endless-runner game coinciding with the release of the film. It was released for Android and iOS.
On December 5, 2018, McKay announced a sequel to the film was in the works, with him returning to direct. The film was set for release in 2022. However, while the rights of DC Comics are owned by Warner Bros, Universal Pictures acquired the film rights to The Lego Movie franchise in 2020, effectively cancelling the sequel.
In June 2021, McKay revealed that the script was being written by Michael Waldron and Dan Harmon. It would have focused on Batman's relationship with the Justice League, particularly Superman, and the main villains would have been Lex Luthor and OMAC. Waldron revealed that the film was tentatively titled Lego Superfriends.
after releasing a new trailer on Nov. 4.