When someone thinks they have a good sequel on their hands, they do one of two things: Compare it to The Godfather: Part II or compare it to The Empire Strikes Back. Tomorrow War and Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay is doing the former. He’s also throwing around the name Dan Harmon like chum into the water. It’s not something people do to promote sequels, but it’s sure to whet appetites for a fish dinner that’s never coming.
In a recent interview with Collider, McKay divulged a couple of juicy morsels about the all but dead sequel to his 2017 Lego Batman Movie. Written by Dan Harmon and Michael Waldron, McKay says the script resembles, get this, The Godfather: Part II and Boogie Nights, which we assume is about Batman’s monster hog and not his cunnilingus skills because Batman does not eat out—he only gets drive-thru.
“Dan [Harmon] and [Michael] Waldron had done a first draft of the script that was really great,” McKay said. “It was truly epic...both from an action standpoint and from a story standpoint. The structure was Godfather Part 2... a story about Batman’s relationship to the Justice League (and Superman) now as well as the formative moments of the Justice League (and Batman’s relationship with Superman) then.”
Unfortunately, we’ll probably never see this movie. In 2020, Universal acquired the rights to Lego, opening the possibility for Harry Potter and Dominic Toretto to make appearances in Lego movies, but not members of the Warner Bros library. This also explains, we assume, why the nuns from Ken Russell’s The Devils appear in the Space Jam sequel (you can’t let IP go to waste— it spoils).
Even more disheartening, McKay said that the sequel, bolstered by the success of Into The Spider-Verse, would have been even more of an actual Batman movie. “The studio was leery of Lego Batman being an actual Batman movie so I was constantly told to hold back,” he said. “Audiences, and subsequent movies like Into the Spider-Verse, proved them wrong. I would have quadrupled down on making it as much of a real Justice League movie with lots of jokes, cameos, intersecting storylines, references, etc—it would have been a very dense movie as humanly possible.” He continues:
“We had lots of great voice actors from The LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman. The villain was going to be Lex Luthor and OMAC. There’s more, of course (lots of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Lois). There was also going to be a big crossover at one point in the movie that you can only do in a Lego movie. I’m sure you can guess what it was. The thing that will probably never happen in a live-action movie.”
Now joining David Lynch’s Return Of The Jedi and Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon, Dan Harmon’s Lego Batman is in the pantheon of movies that never got made, but people will wonder about it for the rest of time. Well, maybe it’s not in that pantheon, but we do wish we could’ve seen it. At least, co-writer Michael Waldron shared the extremely very good cover page for the screenplay. Enjoy the cover. It’s all we’re getting.