This post contains SPOILERS for The LEGO Batman Movie
Last week, Warner Bros. released the second installment of their blossoming LEGO film franchise, The LEGO Batman Movie, to widespread critical acclaim and a solid $55.6 million opening weekend haul. Though the project featured Will Arnett reprising his hilarious version of the Dark Knight from 2014’s The LEGO Movie, this production was essentially a standalone adventure that made no overt references to LEGO Batman’s previous adventure with Emmet and Wyldstyle. Director Chris McKay was more concerned with constructing a well-meaning parody of Batman mythology than forcing continuity between the two films.
Since LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman were fairly disconnected, some might be wondering how (or if) the pair is intertwined in the overarching picture of the LEGO movie world. As it turns out, the two are very much part of the same series, and the plan is for LEGO Batman to have some kind of effect on 2019’s The LEGO Movie Sequel, which recently found a new director in the form of Trolls helmsman Mike Mitchell.
While speaking with EW, McKay opened up about how the spinoff fits into what the creative team has already established, including its relationship with the real world element that was a crucial part of the first LEGO Movie:
Everyone says this, but for lack of a better phrase, there’s a LEGO cinematic universe that we’re building that has a sci-fi premise, as far as the world that the movies are taking place in for the majority of the running time, and the other world that’s out there. I think over the course of the movies, we’re building out the relationship between those. There’s no mandate necessarily to do that, but we are very actively working to find all of the rules and develop that relationship between the real world and the LEGO world. You’ll start to see it in what we’re doing with Ninjago and what what we’re doing in LEGO 2.
Since the LEGO franchise is still in its early stages, it isn’t surprising that the filmmakers are continuing to iron out the rules of the world and figure out the proper balance. It’s good to hear that there isn’t a “mandate” on that front, and the top priority seems to be telling entertaining and heartfelt stories that delight moviegoers young and old. Fans are probably looking forward to seeing more of the dynamic between our world and the LEGO world, but it has to be a natural fit for the narrative at hand. In LEGO Batman‘s case, there may not have been a good time to cut back to “reality,” so to speak. Additionally, that subplot in The LEGO Movie was so well-handled, any attempt to duplicate it in LEGO Batman would run the risk of being less genuine and not as affecting. For the purposes of this movie, it’s better we stayed in Gotham and the rest of the LEGO DC universe.
Those who enjoy Arnett’s riff on the Caped Crusader will be pleased to learn the plan is to bring him back for The LEGO Movie Sequel. McKay told EW, “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.” This is a nice development that shows LEGO Batman isn’t just some one-off sideshow; it’s an integral part of the franchise at hand and has a lot of value. After seeing Batman learn the importance of working with friends, it would be a shame if he reverted back to his loner ways like nothing ever happened. Perhaps some of his new family members, like Robin or Barbara Gordon, could return as well.