The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film directed by Chris McKay and 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 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 the third feature film to be produced by Warner Animation Group and the second to be based on Lego properties.
|The Lego Batman Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris McKay|
|Story by||Seth Grahame-Smith|
|Music by||Lorne Balfe|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$311.8 million|
The Lego Batman Movie premiered in Dublin, Ireland on January 29, 2017, and was released in the United States on February 10, 2017. Internationally, the film was released in 3D, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX 3D. The film received positive reviews and grossed over $311 million worldwide.
Within the Lego Universe, Batman continues to protect Gotham City and fight crime. 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 which houses 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. Reluctantly 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. Suspecting his arch-rival wanted to be sent there, Barbara locks up Batman and Robin for their reckless actions.
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, 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 believes 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 Phantom 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, a talking Lego brick, 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 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, his team, and Gotham City's other villains, who felt neglected by Joker, manage to successfully send the escaped villains back 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 plates 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 his new alliance with 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 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 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
- John Venzon as Penguin
- 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 Barry Allen / Flash
- Brent Musburger as Reporter #1
- Ralph Garman as Reporter #2
- Chris Hardwick as Reporter #3
After the success of The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. gave the green light to further multiple Lego movies being produced, including The Lego Batman Movie; Chris McKay, who co-directed The Lego Movie, was brought on board to direct the film, marking this as his solo directorial debut. 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 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."
The film was announced in October 2014, along with news that Will Arnett would be reprising his role as Batman, and later in the month Animal Logic, who had worked on The Lego Movie, were in talks to produce additional movies in the franchise, including The Lego Batman Movie.  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. Additional casting announcements were made over the course of the year: Zach Galifianakis was revealed to be assigned the role of Joker, on August 12; the signing on of Rosario Dawson to voice Barbara Gordon, was announced on October 16; and the casting of Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Alfred Pennyworth, on November 3. On November 9, 2015, Deadline.com incorrectly reported that Mariah Carey, who had been hired as part of the film's cast, would be voicing Commissioner Gordon; The Hollywood Reporter later revealed this to be falsely claimed, stating that she was instead voicing the character of Mayor McCaskill. In July 2016, it was revealed Jenny Slate would voice Harley Quinn in the movie, while later that year on November 30, it was announced that Billy Dee Williams would reprise his role of Harvey Dent from Tim Burton's Batman film. On February 2, 2017, one week before the film's release, it was revealed that Héctor Elizondo was voicing Commissioner Gordon, while on February 3, it was announced that Conan O'Brien, Riki Lindhome, and Zoë Kravitz, were amongst a number of actors hired into the cast to round out the voices for the various villians included in the film.
Batman and pop culture referencesEdit
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), Batman Beyond (2000s), and The Batman (2000s); and the comics Detective Comics #27 (Batman's introductory story), The Dark Knight Returns, and Gotham by Gaslight. Other references 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 and a picture of Batman's suit from Batman and Robin. Climactic events from past Batman films including the Joker have been mentioned, including "the one 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: 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; 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. When Batman discusses possible team names, he mentions "Fox Force Five," which was the name of a 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 Michael Jackson song "Man in the Mirror," specifically the lyric "If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change," is referenced several times throughout the film. The film's other references include Gleaming the Cube and Gymkata.
|The Lego Batman Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Lorne Balfe, various artists|
|Released||February 3, 2017|
Trackdown Studios (Sydney)
|Genre||Film soundtrack, film score|
|Lorne Balfe chronology|
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 was released on May 19, 2017.
- Track listing
|1.||"Who's the (Bat) Man"||Patrick Stump||3:04|
|3.||"(I Just) Died in Your Arms"||Cutting Crew||4:36|
|6.||"Heroes (We Could Be)" (Hard Rock Sofa and Skidka Remix)||Alesso feat. Tove Lo||6:35|
|7.||"Man in the Mirror"||Alex Aiono||3:48|
|8.||"Friends Are Family"||Oh, Hush! feat. Will Arnett and Jeff Lewis||2:25|
|9.||"I Found You"||Fraser Murray||3:34|
|11.||"Man in the Mirror"||Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine||1:49|
|12.||"Everything Is Awesome"||Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine||2:03|
|2.||"Your Greatest Enemy"||Lorne Balfe||2:42|
|3.||"The Arrival of Robin"||Lorne Balfe||2:52|
|4.||"Joker Crashes the Party"||Lorne Balfe||1:33|
|5.||"No Seat Belts Required"||Lorne Balfe||2:18|
|6.||"To Cage the Joker"||Lorne Balfe||1:59|
|7.||"The Phantom Zone"||Lorne Balfe||3:37|
|8.||"Open for Business"||Lorne Balfe||1:09|
|9.||"Chaos in Gotham"||Lorne Balfe||3:20|
|10.||"Lava Attack"||Lorne Balfe||7:40|
|11.||"For Your Own Good"||Lorne Balfe||1:45|
|12.||"Joker Manor"||Lorne Balfe||2:29|
|13.||"Batman's in the Zone"||Lorne Balfe||4:40|
|14.||"The Babs Signal"||Lorne Balfe||2:25|
|15.||"Battle Royale"||Lorne Balfe||4:54|
|16.||"A Long Farewell"||Lorne Balfe||2:49|
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 LEGO commercials featuring Batman and the cast.
The CW featured LEGO end cards for Supergirl, The Flash, DC's 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 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 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $311.8 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 252 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. 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." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post praised the film for its heart, humor and action which, "snap together, with a satisfying click."
|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||Nominated|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Lego Batman Movie panel at the 2016 Comic-Con International.|