Here's Why Lego Batman Never Got a Sequel (2024)

The Lego Batman Movie, released in 2017, was a spin-off of the critically acclaimed and box office smash hit The Lego Movie, which was released in 2014. The movie was a comedic take on the caped crusader with Batman (Will Arnett) being forced to open himself up to the idea of a Bat family after adopting Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), and Gotham City is threatened by a bitter and jealous Joker (Zach Galifianakis) as Batman refuses to recognize him as his arch enemy.

Arriving just one year after the critically panned Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Lego Batman Movie was a win for movies based on DC Comics characters and a fun movie that poked fun at the character's recent cinematic outings being so dark.

Here's Why Lego Batman Never Got a Sequel (1)
lego batman

PG

Release Date
February 8, 2017
Director
Chris McKay
Cast
Jenny Slate , Ralph Fiennes , Rosario Dawson , Zach Galifianakis , Michael Cera , Mariah Carey

Runtime
104
Main Genre
Superhero
Writers
Seth Grahame-Smith , Chris McKenna , Erik Sommers , Jared Stern , John Whittington , Bob Kane

Studio
Warner Bros.

Tagline
Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman.

The movie was also a box office smash hit. It opened to number one at the box office with $53 million, beating out both John Wick - Chapter 2 and Fifty Shades Darker. It held the number one spot for the second week of release and closed out its box office run with $175 million domestic and $312 million worldwide against an $80 million budget.

Great reviews and box office would suggest a sequel would be made, yet not only did one not materialize, but now it can't happen due to the film rights regarding the Lego property. Here is why TheLego Batman Movie never got a sequel and what might have been.

The Lego Movie Franchise Burned Out Quickly

The idea of a movie based around the Lego toyline seemed laughable, but much to everyone's surprise, 2014's The Lego Movie from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller became both a box office hit, with $257 million domestic and $470 million worldwide.

It also received incredibly positive reviews from critics, praising the clever self-aware script that also captured the feeling of playing with legos, so much that many were shocked when the movie failed to land a nomination for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards.

Yet Warner Bros. had faith in the Lego franchise and saw it, along with the DCEU, MonsterVerse, and Wizarding World, as their big-ticket film series. The Lego Batman Movie continued this trend, and while it performed less than The Lego Movie, it still did very well, suggesting the spin-off films would be a hit with the main Lego films being box office guarantees.

Yet later, in 2017, The Lego franchise would suffer a hit as The Lego Ninjago Movie, which opened six months after The Lego Batman Movie, grossed only $59 million domestically and $123 million worldwide and received more mixed reactions from critics.

Then, in 2019, the whole Lego film franchise came crashing down as The Lego Movie Movie 2: The Second Part was a major box office disappointment. Arriving five years after the first film and even on the same weekend in February, opening at just $34 million, about half of what the first film made back in 2014.

By the end of its run, The Lego Batman Movie 2: The Second Part grossed $105 million domestically and $199 million worldwide, about $271 million less than The Lego Movie and $113 million less than The Lego Batman Movie.

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In December 2019, ten months after The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part opened in theaters, Universal Pictures entered talks to acquire the Lego film rights. A deal between Universal and Lego was struck in 2020, effectively canceling any plans Warner Bros. might have had for future Lego movies. One film canceled was The Billion Brick Race, but the second and most high profile was a sequel to The Lego Batman Movie which would have been titled Lego Superfriends.

What Would Lego Superfriends Been About

The Lego Batman Movie primarily focused on Batman and his cast of characters, from villains to supporting characters. Still, the film and The Lego Movie also included many members of the Justice League, including Superman (Channing Tatum), Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), and The Flash (Adam DeVine).

In 2018, Warner Bros. announced a planned sequel to The Lego Batman Movie, with director Chris McKay returning to direct with a tentative 2022 release date. It would be titled Lego Superfriends.

The film was being written by Rick and Morty writers Michael Waldron and Dan Harmon and would have focused on Batman's relationship with the Justice League, particularly Superman, a plot element teased in The Lego Batman Movie when Batman realizes the rest of The Justice League don't invite him to parties.

The main antagonists would have been Lex Luthor and OMAC, and the script was said to be pulling influence from The Godfather Part II and Boogie Nights, but no one has elaborated on that further.

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Yet it was clear after the box office disappointment of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part that any future movies would be put on hold. The final nail in the coffin was Universal Pictures acquiring the film rights to Lego; due to DC Comics being a subsidiary of Warner Bros., all DC characters are blocked from appearing in Universal Pictures Lego movies unless the two studios can make a deal.

This not only makes Lego Superfriends impossible to make with the new Universal deal but also means audiences have seen the last of Lego Batman unless Warner Bros. ever acquires the property again.

Lego at Universal Pictures

Universal made a five-year deal with Lego in 2020, now nearly up. There were many delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but their first film using the Lego property is not what many expected.

Instead of doing a new Lego Movie or taking one of their Universal properties like Fast & Furious or Jurassic Park and making a Lego-themed movie, the studio is instead going for a musical biopic done in the style of Legos.

Piece by Piece will chronicle the life and career of musician Pharrell Williams, who did everything in the style of Legos. The movie is set to hit theaters on October 11, 2024, and will be a different type of Lego movie than what people expect.

Meanwhile, in 2023, directors Aaron and Adam Nee, hot off the romantic comedy The Lost City, were announced as developing a new Lego Movie for Universal Pictures.

While the studio cannot use Batman or any other DC superheroes, it appears they are also blocked from using any original characters made for The Lego Movie, like Emmett (Chris Pratt), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), Benny the Spaceman (Charlie Day), or Princess Unikitty (Alison Brie) as they are Warner Bros. characters. So even if The Lego Movie 3 does happen, it must focus on a new batch of characters.

Notably, The Lego Batman Movie's sequel, Lego Superfriends, is another Justice League project that faced behind-the-scenes problems. Yet unlike Zack Snyder's Justice League, this one never can see the light of day because it was never filmed. It will be another "what if?" The Lego-themed Justice League movie is much like George Miller's Justice League Mortal, which never happened.

As it stands, The Lego Batman Movie is a great comedic take on Batman and one of the best standalone Batman movies ever made.

Here's Why Lego Batman Never Got a Sequel (2024)
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