“The Lego Batman Movie” would never skip leg day. Never.
The new movie — which is fantastic — also doesn’t skip a beat during more than 90 minutes of jokes and references, some even at the expense of its parent studio, Warner Bros. Its padre, as Robin might say. Its papa.
The infamous moment happens later in the movie. Before heading off to save Gotham, Batman takes a shot at another Warner Bros. movie, “Suicide Squad,” saying that using criminals to fight criminals is a dumb idea.
“Suicide Squad,” though a commercial success, was berated by critics, a fact that’s not lost on Warner Bros., nor the movie’s cast and director. “Lego Batman” throwing shade at its own makes the moment stand out from the rest.
And people noticed:
The Huffington Post talked with director Chris McKay about the surprising moment. He said Lego movies are all about getting away with stuff:
“I can’t remember if that was one we really had to run up the flagpole or not, or just the executives who were on the movie saw it and were OK with it, but that was just us kind of riffing in a voice booth,” said McKay. “It was me [writer] Jared Stern and Will Arnett. It was one of those things where we gave Will an idea, and he took it and made it his own. I love working with him. He’s amazing, but being able to get away with stuff I think is kind of one of the things we do well in all of the Lego movies. You feel like you’re sort of getting away with it.”
In an interview with Build Series, the director also commented on the matter, saying, “Because we’re approaching these characters and this movie with a lot of love, people kind of let us do some things that maybe we couldn’t do.”
Will Arnett, the voice of Lego Batman, also chimed in, saying, “It’s kind of incumbent upon us in this position as the — in a certain way, as the absurdist Batman, to take those shots. If we don’t, then we’re sort of missing our own point.”
In addition to talking with HuffPost about the “Suicide Squad” jab, McKay also cleared up some of the movie’s unanswered questions:
In the movie, Dick Grayson (later Robin) asks Bruce Wayne if he should get experimental surgery on his eyes to make him more appealing. Does he get the surgery?
No, I think hopefully Batman and Bruce Wayne persuaded him from doing that.
Robin calls Batman tons of variations of “father.” How many different words for “father” did you go through?
There were a lot more. We had to cut [some]. At one point, we even translated Hebrew. We used all languages we possibly could to say “father.” But it was one of those jokes where we have to keep the movie moving. But, at one point, I think we recorded Michael Cera doing everything.
Will Batman ever get to hang out with lady activewear models?
We know he’s hung out with ballerinas in Christopher Nolan movies. Yeah, I think in a sequel. The thing we’re looking at with every one of these movies is he’s got a different girlfriend. He has very limited relationships. There’s an expiration date on his relationships. It’s always something like that. I really wish, in a future movie, we can see Batman hang out with lady activewear models.
Ralph Fiennes, Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” movies, voices Alfred in “Lego Batman.” This movie has an appearance by Lego Voldemort (Eddie Izzard). Was there any talk of getting Fiennes to voice Lego Voldemort?
[Fiennes] is great, and he’s amazing to work with. Yeah, at one point I wanted to do that and suggested it to the studio. For a couple of reasons we decided not to, but I think the main one was unless you’re gonna put Alfred and Voldemort in a scene together, unless you’re gonna do something with it ... it’s going to end up on the cutting room floor. I think that’s kind of the main reason why we didn’t do that. I think also J.K. Rowling was really generous obviously in letting us use Voldemort and Dumbledore in the first movie. I don’t wanna step on too much of what they’re doing.
Did J.K. Rowling have to approve Lego Voldemort?
Yeah, not on the cast, but just to show her the stuff we were doing, and she was super positive and really helpful and actually gave us spells that we should use.
Why does Batman always have a deep voice?
When you boil Batman down, he stopped developing when he was a little kid, so everything he does is what a little kid would think is scary. It’s like, “How do you stop crime? OK, I’m gonna learn karate. I’m gonna dress up like a giant bat, and I’m going to scare criminals with my big scary voice.” I think that is the solution of a child to a real problem. I love Batman. I think it’s kind of funny to take a step back and look at our heroes and find some kind of loving critique.
Is there anything scarier than snake clowns?
The only other thing [is] in dreams, you can add to that waking up naked at a test. Being late for a test and you don’t have any clothes. I think that would probably the scary dream triumvirate between clowns, snakes and nudity.
How important is it not to skip leg day?
You gotta even it out. Actually, you’ll fall over, so you gotta get your legs. People try to blow it off, but it really is important.