The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film, directed by Chris McKay, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writers and directors of The Lego Movie, serving as its producers. The film, an international co-production of the United States, Australia and Denmark, is a spin-off installment of The Lego Movie, with its story focusing on the DC Comics character Batman as he attempts to overcome his greatest fear to stop the Joker's latest plan. While Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman for the film, the other major characters were voiced by Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes. The Lego Batman Movie is both the third feature film to be produced by Warner Animation Group and the second to be based on Lego properties.
The Lego Batman Movie premiered in Dublin, Ireland on January 29, 2017, and was released in the United States on February 10, 2017 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Internationally, the film was released in 3D, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX 3D. The film received positive reviews and has grossed almost $301 million worldwide.
Within the Lego Universe, Batman continues to protect Gotham City and fight crime, but during his latest mission to stop the Joker from destroying the city, he hurts his arch-rival'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. Without warning, Joker crashes the party with the city's other villains, all of whom surrender, with the exception of Harley Quinn, who disappears during the confusion.
Suspecting his arch-rival is up to something, Batman plots to steal Superman's Phantom Zone Projector, a device that can banish anyone to the Phantom Zone - a prison housing some of the most dangerous villains in the Lego multiverse. Just as he plans his heist of the device, Alfred intervenes and advises him to take charge of Dick Grayson, whom Bruce unwittingly adopted as his ward during the gala. Relunctantly agreeing to do so, Batman fosters Dick as Robin, whereupon the pair successfully recover the Projector from the Fortress of Solitude, and break into Arkham Asylum to send Joker to the Phantom Zone. Annoyed at his recklessness, and suspecting his arch-rival wanted to be sent there, Barbara locks up the pair.
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 that had been trapped in the Phantom Zone. Realizing that the city does need him, Barbara releases Batman and Robin and teams up with them and Alfred to stop the Joker. Although Batman finds himself able to trust and rely on his new team, upon reaching Wayne Island, he chooses to send them away, rather than losing them like his parents. Upon facing him alone, Joker express belief that Batman is incapable of change and zaps him to the Phantom Zone, before stealing the Batcave's stash of confiscated bombs. Arriving in the Zone, Batman witnesses the harm his selfishness has caused to everyone and slowly accepts his greatest fear. 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 team-mates, apologizing to them for his actions, and requesting their help to stop Joker.
Realizing that Joker plans to use the explosives he took to destroy the city's Energy Facility, thus causing the city to come apart and be destroyed, Batman turns Barbara into Batgirl, before he and his team, along with the city's other villains, who felt neglected by Joker, manage to successfully send back the escaped villains to the Phantom Zone. However, the group fail to stop Joker's bombs going off, as the explosion begins to tear the city apart at the plate's beneath it. Knowing this was his fault, Batman reluctantly convinces Joker that he is the true reason for being the hero he is, before they, their friends and allies, and the city's inhabitants, chain-link themselves together and pull the plates back together, saving the city.
With the city saved, Batman prepares to be taken back into the Phantom Zone to fulfill his bargain, only to be rejected by Phyllis, who chooses to let him remain after seeing how much he had changed in order to save everyone. Batman allows Joker and the rest of his rogues gallery to temporarily escape, with the confidence that whenever they return, they will be no match for the combined team of himself, Robin, Batgirl, and Alfred.
- Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Zach Galifianakis as the Joker
- Michael Cera as Dick Grayson / Robin
- Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
- Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth
- Jenny Slate as Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn
- Siri as Batcomputer (referred to as "Puter" in the film)
- Héctor Elizondo as Commissioner James Gordon
- Lauren White as Chief O'Hara, Medusa
- Mariah Carey as Mayor McCaskill
- Eddie Izzard as Lord Voldemort
- Seth Green as King Kong
- Jemaine Clement as Sauron
- Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face
- Riki Lindhome as Poison Ivy, Wicked Witch of the West
- Conan O'Brien as the Riddler
- Jason Mantzoukas as Scarecrow
- Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman
- Kate Micucci as Clayface
- Doug Benson as Bane
- David Burrows as Anchorman Phil, Mr. Freeze
- Matt Villa as Killer Croc
- Laura Kightlinger as Reporter Pippa, Orca
- Todd Hansen as Captain Dale
- Chris McKay as Pilot Bill
- Richard Cheese as Himself (archive recording)
- Channing Tatum as Superman
- Ellie Kemper as Phyllis
- Jonah Hill as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
- Adam DeVine as The Flash
- Brent Musburger as Reporter #1
- Ralph Garman as Reporter #2
- Chris Hardwick as Reporter #3
In October 2014, it was announced that Will Arnett was set to reprise his role in the Lego Batman spin-off film, which Chris McKay would direct for a 2017 release. McKay was earlier attached to direct The Lego Movie Sequel, but it had been pushed back. On October 30, 2014, it was announced that Australia-based animation studio Animal Logic was in talks to produce the next three Lego films, and the New South Wales government would make financial contributions to all the films.
On July 16, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Arnett's Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera was set to voice Robin, while Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were announced as producers. On August 12, 2015, it was revealed that Zach Galifianakis would voice the Joker in the film. On October 16, 2015, Rosario Dawson signed on to voice Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, who herself later becomes Batgirl. On November 3, 2015, Ralph Fiennes was cast in the film to voice the character Alfred Pennyworth. On November 9, 2015, Deadline first reported that Mariah Carey would voice Commissioner Gordon, which was later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter to be false, and that she would instead voice the Mayor of Gotham City, McCaskill. In July 2016, it was revealed Jenny Slate would voice Harley Quinn in the movie, and on November 30, 2016, it was announced that Billy Dee Williams would reprise his role of Harvey Dent from Tim Burton's Batman film. On January 31, 2017, Chris Hardwick announced on an episode of his Comedy Central program @midnight that he is part of the film's cast. On February 2, 2017, one week before the film's release, it was revealed that Héctor Elizondo was voicing Commissioner Gordon. Conan O'Brien, Riki Lindhome, Zoë Kravitz, and more were revealed to round out the cast of villains on February 3, 2017.
Batman and pop culture references
- Main article: List of cameos in Lego
As part of its production, the movie was designed to make numerous references to previous Batman movies, cartoons and comics. These include: the 1940s Batman serials; 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), and Batman Beyond (2000s); and the comics Detective Comics #27 (Batman's introductory story), The Dark Knight Returns, and Gotham by Gaslight. In addition, other references also include previous costumes worn by Batman and Robin, and the various Batmobiles used. In most cases, their appearances in the movie 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 show.
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: Penguin; 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; 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; 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 movie as part of a small joke about Batman's password for entering the Batcave.
The film also features characters from other notable franchises and movie 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; the Creature from the Black Lagoon; Dracula; 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; Bruce, the great white shark from Jaws; Voldemort from Harry Potter; the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings; the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptors from Jurassic Park; 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"; this line had previously been quoted by The Joker in The Dark Knight. The film's other references include Pulp Fiction, Gleaming the Cube, and Gymkata.
- Main article: The Lego Batman Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The film's original score was composed by Lorne Balfe and features Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith. The soundtrack was released on February 3, 2017, on CD and for digital download, while the vinyl version will be released on May 19, 2017.
The film's main premiere was conducted in Dublin, Ireland on January 29, 2017, whereupon it went into general release from 8 February; it was released in Denmark on 9 February, and in the United States the day after. Its overall release saw movie theatres displaying the film in 3D, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX, though the latter format was restricted to 2D for North America, while international countries were able to view it in IMAX 3D.
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 1960's 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. 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 commercials featuring Batman and the cast.
The CW featured LEGO end cards for Supergirl, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow respectively that aired on the week of the movie's release. In addition, 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.
As of April 9, 2017, The Lego Batman Movie has grossed $172.9 million in the United States and Canada and $127.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $300.6 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 in its opening weekend. It earned $2.2 million from Thursday night previews and $15 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 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 aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90%, based on 228 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The site'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." 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."
- The Lego Movie is the first Warner Animation Group film to become a franchise.
- The Lego Movie is Warner Bros.' fourth animated film to become a franchise, after Looney Tunes, Batman and Happy Feet.
- This is the first time Warner Animation Group releases two films in the same year, while the other film is The Lego Ninjago Movie.
- This film marks Lorne Balfe's second individual score in a feature-length animated film after DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar. Ironically, Balfe has previously programmed music for Batman Begins and composed some additional music for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises (all of which were composed by Hans Zimmer).
- Thus, it is also the first Lego theatrical film not composed by Mark Mothersbaugh.
- Actor Billy Dee Williams from 1989 Tim Burton Blockbuster Batman who portrayed Distract Attorney Harvey Dent, finally get his chance to play the duality role of the character of Two-Face as he will be providing the voice in this film.
- Morgan Freeman, who appeared in the Dark Knight trilogy and The Lego Movie, said that "The Lego Movie's" "Batman" is his favorite incarnation of the character.
- Ralph Fiennes is the third Academy Award-nominated British actor to play the character Alfred Pennyworth. The others are Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy and Jeremy Irons in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- The Joker appearance is similar to his appearance from The Batman as he looks more feral with sharp teeth and wears long clothing.
- The films feature many villains from Batman's Rogues Gallery such as, but not limited to, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Bane, The Riddler, Two-Face, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Penguin and Clayface.
- With the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this marks the first time in over twenty years that two theatrical Batman films have been released in two consecutive years. The last time this happened was with Batman Returns and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
- The trailers for the film feature different variants of the Bat Suit. One of these variants is labeled "2011 Comic-Con Exclusive". This suit is a mini-figure that was given out in raffles at New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic-Con in 2011 to coincide with Lego re-launching the Superheroes theme. The mini-figure is based off of Christian Bale's suit from The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Another recognizable suit that's visible is Terry McGinnis's suit from the animated cartoon Batman Beyond.
- In the teaser trailer, Alfred Pennyworth refers to Batman going through "similar phases" in 2016, 2012, 2008, 2005, 1997, 1995, 1992, 1989, and a "weird one" in 1966. This is a clear reference to every year in which a major Batman film was released. The films in question are respectively, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Batman Returns, Batman and Batman.
- This incarnation of Robin bears a striking resemblance to Carrie Kelley's Robin from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel.
- Eddie Izzard voiced Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter franchise as a cameo. Either coincidentally or not, Ralph Fiennes, who portrays Alfred in this movie, is most known for playing Voldemort.
- Will Arnett and Michael Cera previously appeared together in Arrested Development.
- This is Rosario Dawson's fourth DC animated movie. She voiced for Wonder Woman, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis and Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
- Batman's crazy laugh is actually voiced by the director, Chris McKay. It was originally a placeholder before Will Arnett's laugh was to be put in, but never ended up being changed.
- While most of the villains are based on their comic book appearances, some resemble their live action movie counterparts. The Penguin resembles Danny DeVito from Batman Returns, Poison Ivy resembles Uma Thurman from Batman & Robin, Catwoman resembles Halle Berry from Catwoman, Bane wears a brown and white parka, a staple of Tom Hardy's portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises and Two Face resembles Billy Dee Williams from Batman (1989), as well as being voiced by him.
- This is Conan O'Brien's second animated Batman film he has voiced for. The first was Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2.
- The film will include appearances not only Batman's "rogues gallery" of recognizable villains, but also many lesser-known faces like Orca, Dr. Phosphorus, and the Mutant Leader from The Dark Knight Returns. Also visible in trailers are some of the most obscure and campy enemies Batman has ever faced, including The Eraser (a pencil-themed villain) The Polka Dot Man, Crazy Quilt, Kite Man and King Tut, a pharaoh villain from the 1966 Batman TV series.
- In this incarnation, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon is Batman/Bruce Wayne's love interest and not Catwoman/Selina Kyle.
- Spin-off of The Lego Movie.
- This incarnation of Robin is Dick Grayson. He is very optimistic and wears big glasses.
- French footballer Antoine Griezmann lent his voice to Superman for the French version.
- The forth animated Batman film to be released in theaters after Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman: The Killing Joke.
- In early casting, Guillermo del Toro & Steve Buscemi were the front runners for voicing Bane and The Joker, respectively.
- This is director Chris McKay's first theatrically released movie.
- Michael Cera (Robin) and Jonah Hill (Green Lantern) both previously starred in Superbad and This is the End.
- This incarnation of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is African American.
- At first, it was said that Mariah Carey's character was to be Commissioner Gordon, but was later revealed to be playing the Mayor of Gotham City.
- Mindy Kaling was considered for the voice of Harley Quinn.
- Ralph Fiennes is now the second or third actor to have played characters in both the Harry Potter and Batman universes. Gary Oldman played Commissioner Gordon in Batman Begins (2005) and its sequels. Jeremy Irons, who played Alfred, also played Snape in Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do.
- At one point, Trey Parker was said to voice the Riddler.
- The Flash appeared in The Lego Movie, but had no lines. Here, however, he does. His voice actor is Adam DeVine.
- Michael Cera and Zach Galifianakis also both starred in Youth in Revolt.
- This is Zach Galifianakis' second animated movie. His first was Puss in Boots.
- Ralph Fiennes shares the role of Alfred with Jeremy Irons. Irons also played Sir Robert Dudley in Elizabeth I, a role played in Elizabeth by Ralph's younger brother, Joseph Fiennes.
- The film was released the same year as Justice League, which Ben Affleck stars as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Ben Affleck previously played Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
- The second animated film featuring Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci of the comedy band Garfunkel and Oates. The first being The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
- Released on the 43rd birthday of Elizabeth Banks, who appeared in The Lego Movie.
- Alfred uses the Batman costume from the 1966's TV series to stop the destruction of Gotham City.
- The Super Friends members Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, The Wonder Twins, Dyno Mutt, El Dorado and Samurai will make an appearance in the film.
- In the trailers Barbara wears a purple button shirt, the purple is a reference to the color of the bat suit she will wear later in the films events.
- One of the villains the Joker allies himself with in the Phantom Zone is Harry Potter's nemesis Lord Voldemort, previously portrayed on screen by Ralph Fiennes (who voices Alfred in this film).
- The Daleks are not actually voiced by the official voice, Nicholas Briggs, and three variants on their voice can be heard - two lifted straight from Doctor Who, one American accented Dalek without ring modulation and one British Dalek that sounds more modulated.
|List of Accolades|
|Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|Heartland Film Festival 2017||Truly Moving Picture Award||Chris McKay||Won|
|2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Comedic Performance||Will Arnett||Nominated|
|2017 Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy Actor||Will Arnett||Pending|
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a transcript of The Lego Batman Movie.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Lego Batman Movie.
- The Lego Batman Movie at the Internet Movie Database