The Reason The LEGO Batman Movie 2 Fell Apart Before It Ever Came Together

As good as every Batman movie has been so far, we've got enough of the dark and brooding Batman. Even if "The Batman" was genuinely funny at times, it was still an incredibly dark superhero movie not really meant for kids — while, yes, Batman is for kids too.

This is part of why "The LEGO Batman Movie" remains such a special and refreshing entry in the Batman mythos. Not only does it feature one of the best Batman performances, thanks to Will Arnett, who stole every scene in "The LEGO Movie" he was in; it is colorful, visually interesting, and it actually gets at the heart of the Dark Knight without the need to be super depressing. And if you like superhero movies for their references, there are few Easter eggs as good as the movie montage in "The LEGO Batman Movie," which is outright hilarious.

A different kind of Caped Crusader

The thing that makes "The LEGO Batman Movie" stand out is it is a rare Batman movie that not only asks why Bruce Wayne keeps putting on the cowl, but it answers its own question and explores who Bruce Wayne is without Batman. In the first act, Batman manages to capture virtually all the major villains in Gotham and put them in jail, which means he finally has some time to relax and be himself.

The problem is he has no idea what to do with himself when not fighting bad guys. He tries having expensive Lobster Thermidor dinners and watches movies at home, but he finds that nothing satisfies him. Nothing Alfred tries to do, even adopting a young kid, can make Bruce come out of his brooding shell. Indeed, this is the first Batman film (until Robert Pattinson's emo Batman) that confronts the idea of Batman as a coping mechanism for a deeply emotionally troubled Bruce Wayne, who has not been able to heal from his parents' deaths.

This leads to "The LEGO Batman Movie" being a rare Batman movie where the titular character has a proper character arc and actually changes by the end of the film, realizing he needs to open up to others and change his loner behavior — not unlike Robert Pattinson's Batman realizing he needs to be a symbol of hope and not just fear. Indeed, this is a movie that pokes fun and genuinely criticizes the kind of loner, brooding portrayal of the Caped Crusader we've seen time and time again in films, showing it to be incredibly dumb rather than inspiring and cool. Plus, the movie is hilarious, and its meta jokes all land really well.

Sadly, despite the film being great, critically acclaimed, and a commercial hit, we never got a sequel.

Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader?

Speaking to Collider, director Chris McKay talked about an abandoned "LEGO Batman" sequel and revealed it was being written by Dan Harmon and Michael Waldron, which is already a great sign and a big loss for moviegoers:

"The structure was 'Godfather Part II' ... 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."

He also described it as being like "Boogie Nights," while Waldron revealed the film was inspired by "Super Friends." After the financial disappointment of "The LEGO Ninjago Movie" and "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part," Warner Bros. began getting cold feet with its LEGO movies. They canceled a planned racing movie titled "The Billion Brick Race," which was going to be directed by "Maya and the Three" creator Jorge Gutiérrez, and then Batman got the axe too.

As McKay told Collider, the reason "The LEGO Batman Movie" sequel didn't move forward despite a great sounding script is simple: rights issues. You see, Warner Bros. lost the film rights to LEGO, which Universal was quick to snap up. If there is one bright side to all this, it's that Universal now has the opportunity to do for its properties what Warner Bros. did, meaning they can give us a "Fast & Furious" LEGO movie with characters from all its franchises racing the Toretto family while escaping from Jurassic World. Or even better, deliver the promised Dark Universe, but in LEGO film.