Okay, Universal, what gives? Are we going to see The Lego Batman Movie 2 or not? Ultimately it might not be up to Universal as even though they now own the Lego film franchise. Everything that came before Universal’s deal with Lego belongs to Warner Bros.
THE FIRST LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Warner Bros. spent $80 million to create the first Lego Batman movie. Yes, you read that right. $80 million for a computer-animated movie. The good news with that is the movie was a success and to date has brought in over $312 million. So, with numbers like that, a sequel was sure to be in play.
Chris McKay, the first Lego Batman Movie director, even said as much back in 2018. Replying to a tweet, McKay had this to say concerning The Lego Batman Movie 2, “We are working on that rn actually! In the meantime LEGO Batman is all over LEGO 2 coming in February.” LEGO 2? McKay was talking about was the Lego Movie 2 that arrived in February of 2019 that had a lot of Batman in it.
FROM WARNER TO UNIVERSAL
This could very well be the absolute holdup when it comes to a second The Lego Batman Movie. Warner Bros. held the rights to Lego for five years, bringing in over $1 billion over that time. While that seemed like a good reason to sign up for another five years with Lego, Warner decided to pass on renewing their contract, opening the door for other production companies to make their bid. Universal came out on top.
Good news for Universal, bad news for fans who want The Lego Batman Movie 2. With this purchase, Universal has the rights to any future Lego movies, as long as they don’t bring in characters from the past. Warner still has the rights for Batman and the characters created during the Warner-Lego partnership.
Universal Chairman Donna Langley released a statement, via The Hollywood Reporter, explaining their decision to acquire their five-year deal with Lego. “The LEGO System in Play gives people the ability to build worlds and create stories that they carry throughout every phase of their lives. To partner with such an iconic brand that remains relevant and is constantly evolving allows for creativity in storytelling. We’re thrilled to start building out the next chapter of LEGO movies together with [LEGO Group head Jill Wilfer] and the LEGO team as they continue to inspire curiosity and innovation.”
ANOTHER WHAT IF
Okay, so what if Warner decided to play nice and allow Universal to use their Lego Batman character and for that matter, the entire Batman roster that Warner employed for The Lego Batman Movie 2? Of course, there would have to be some hefty financial considerations. But what if they did? What would The Lego Batman Movie 2 look like?
Obviously, you couldn’t have a Lego Batman without the voice of Will Arnett. He perfectly voiced the part of Batman in all his deadpan glory. You could also see the return of Michael Cera (Arnett’s working buddy on the hit show Arrested Development), as well as Zach Galifianakis as Batman’s archenemy The Joker. Ralph Fiennes could return as Alfred Pennyworth, with Rosario Dawson back as Barbara Gordon and Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn. But where would the story take our hero?
THE PLOT OF THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE 2
What The Lego Batman Movie 2 would be about is anyone’s guess. The first Lego Batman movie had a handful of writers that included Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, and John Whittington while being directed by the aforementioned Chris McKay. Expect McKay to return for The Lego Batman Movie 2 and perhaps many of the writers from the first movie.
Thankfully with Batman’s history with villains, the story of The Lego Batman Movie 2 could go anywhere. The first movie saw just about every villain Batman has faced involved in the movie. Not only did the Joker and Harley make their mark but Bane, Scarecrow, The Riddler, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy showed up.
Of course, Batman wasn’t along in his fight. He also had Superman, Flash, and the Green Lantern on his side. The beauty of this movie, along with the other Lego movies, is the pop culture references that are brought in, as well as characters from other Lego playsets.
The first movie saw the appearance of the Wicked Witch of the West along with the flying monkeys, the Kraken from Jason and the Argonauts, Agent Smith from the Matrix, King Kong, the great white shark from Jaws, Voldemort from Harry Potter, and gremlins from Gremlins. It was truly a smorgasbord of villainous characters.
Obviously, without a script or a production start date, a release date for The Lego Batman Movie 2 is out of the question. Before Warner gave up its rights to Lego, 2022 was the year set for the release of The Lego Batman Movie 2, but now that has been tossed. With the success of the first Lego Batman Movie, we can now only hope that the two movie studio titans, Universal and Warner, came come to an agreement on bringing back the caped crusader and company for a second helping.