Finally – our first proper bit of Lego Batman news.
We caught up with Phil Lord and Chris Miller this week, who wrote and directed ‘The Lego Movie’ and are producers on the in-development ‘Lego Batman Movie’ spin-off.
And they revealed the inspiration for their on-screen version of the Caped Crusader – an internet meme.
“You know that Sad Batman meme that went around?” Lord tells us. “That was a big influence on the story for the ‘Lego Batman’ movie, which was a lot about asking why Batman’s not happy.”
“He’s so rich and handsome,” adds Miller. “He really should be happy.”
For those of you not familiar with the meme, you can see it here. It takes the rather lugubrious shot of Ben Affleck as Batman standing by the Batmobile and puts him a variety of other situations intended to explain why he’s miserable. These include:
Seeing an old mattress left out on the street…
Spending time by himself in the park in the rain…
And hanging out with an equally despondent Keanu Reeves.
Lord and Miller also explain that while the universes aren’t directly connected, their Batman will be affected by what director Zack Snyder is doing in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’.
“There’s no doubt that what Zack is doing with those movies is going to change how people experience Batman,” says Lord. “It’ll definitely change our movie.”
Of course, Batman initially popped up as a hilarious sidekick in this year’s ‘Lego Movie’, voiced by ‘Arrested Development’ star Will Arnett.
“We ran all [that] stuff by the [Christopher] Nolan team and Zack’s team about Superman (who also appears in the film voiced by Channing Tatum) because he was working on ‘Man Of Steel’ at the time,” reveals Miller.
“We wanted to show them what we were doing and that we were in our own universe and they really didn’t have that much to do with each other. I think the same is mostly true of the ‘Lego Batman Movie’. It’s in its own universe, but it’s highly informed by everything from the Adam West Batman to the present day.”
The filmmakers also responded for the first time to Jerry Seinfeld’s critical Tweet about the first film, in which he suggested the barbed banter between Superman and Green Lantern was stolen from one of the commercials he did for American Express.
“I think Lego Movie stole my Superman has issues with Green Lantern bit from Amex Seinfeld and Superman webisode,” the comedian wrote on Twitter back in February this year. “Anyone else catch that?”
While admitting they are huge Seinfeld fans, Lord and Miller adamantly (but amusingly) refute the star’s claim.
“A big part of our writing process is going back into the Jerry Seinfeld archives and seeing what jokes we could steal that no-one’s heard in a while,” says Lord.
Miller adds, “We had never seen the webisode that he was referring to, but we were more playing off recent depictions of Green Lantern.” No doubt referring to Ryan Reynolds’ 2011 take on the character, which was both lambasted critically and a commercial failure.
‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is due to be released in 2017.
Photos: Jim Smeat/BEI/Warner Bros./Everett/Rex/PA