Chris McKay Compares Scrapped ‘LEGO Batman’ Sequel to ‘The Godfather Part II’

The director explains why Will Arnett's caped crusader may not return to the Warner Bros. LEGO film universe.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE,  Batman (voice: Will Arnett), 2017. © Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection
"The LEGO Batman Movie"
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

In the mid-2010s, Warner Bros. briefly turned LEGO into one of the most consistent film franchises in Hollywood. The unexpected success of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2014 hit “The LEGO Movie” spawned a 2019 sequel and the 2017 spin-off “The LEGO Batman Movie,” an immediate hit directed by “Renfield” helmer Chris McKay. It wasn’t long before the studio announced that a second film about the Will Arnett-voiced superhero was in the works.

Unfortunately, that project is unlikely to come to fruition. LEGO signed an exclusive movie rights deal with Universal in 2020, preventing Warner Bros. from making anymore sequels to its existing movies in the LEGO universe. But that doesn’t mean McKay is done thinking about his planned sequel. In a new interview with Uproxx, he shed light on his plans to expand his animated superhero franchise.

“We had a really fun script with Dan Harmon and Michael Waldron, wrote a really fun kind of ‘Superfriends,'” McKay said of his LEGO sequel that never materialized. “The sequel would’ve been a quasi ‘Superfriends’ movie and the structure was going to be a sort of ‘Godfather II’ kind of thing with Batman and the Justice League facing a modern-day problem, Lex Luthor and OMAC, while at the same time flashing back to the reasons why Batman and the Justice League – and in particular, Superman – have bad blood. It was going to explore Superman and Batman’s relationship in a very different way than you’ve ever seen it portrayed, including Superman’s alienation from humanity and how hard it is to truly be friends, real friends, for years. It was ultimately going to answer the question: How do you become Super-friends. And there was going to be a crossover with a major franchise that can only happen in a LEGO movie.”

While McKay has moved onto live-action projects, his enthusiasm for the LEGO source material and the film’s whimsical animation style remains apparent. He spoke about the unique creative process that went into the films in a 2014 interview with IndieWire. 

“Obviously what we wanted was to make it look as much as the brick films as possible. And so we wanted to find a way to express that,” he said. “And the majority of the film is CG and trying to make it look like stop-motion and trying to get it to have that sense of being imperfect and not slick. It grounds it something that’s real and something that has a charm and an innocence and naivete… the epic vision of what a child could dream up.”

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