Warner Bros. debuted the new animated adventure The LEGO Batman Movie in theaters over the weekend, the first of what could be several spin-offs of 2014's The LEGO Movie. Will Arnett returned to voice LEGO Batman, with a bunch of DC Comics characters rounding out the cast. Some fans were quite surprised that, aside from the title character, certain characters from The LEGO Movie did not return, particularly Chris Pratt's Emmet and Elizabeth Banks' Wyldstyle. As it turns out, there's a perfectly good explanation for why these characters weren't seen in this spin-off.
The LEGO Movie became quite the surprise hit around this time of the year in 2014, opening with an impressive $69 million en route to a $257.4 million domestic haul and $469.1 million worldwide, from just a $60 million budget. It didn't take long for spin-offs The LEGO Batman Movie and Ninjago (September 22, 2017) to move forward, and since LEGO Batman was already introduced in The LEGO Movie, some fans may have expected Emmet and particularly Batman's girlfriend Wyldstyle to come back for this spin-off. Producer Dan Lin recently spoke with Cinema Blend, where he revealed why they didn't include Emmet and Wyldstyle in The LEGO Batman Movie.
"Yeah, we talked about it a lot. You can imagine the natural inclination is to include Wyldstyle and Emmet, they were so popular from the first movie, as well as other characters. We said, 'You know what? Batman should have his own movie.' He'll meet up with Emmet and Wyldstyle in due time, so fans will see that pairing again, but we want to build to that. This time, tell Batman's own story, a story we haven't seen before in the movies about what Batman really struggles with when he has everything in the world. He's got money, he's got adoring fans, he's got great vehicles, great gadgets, but when he goes home he really has nothing."
As for Emmet and Wyldstyle, they will most likely reunite with Lego Batman in The Lego Movie 2, although that won't hit theaters until February 8, 2019. The animated sequel was originally slated to debut on May 18, 2018 where it would have gone up against Sony's Slenderman and an untitled Laika animated film. Now in its February 8, 2019 date, it will face another animated sequel, Paramount's Spongebob Squarepants 3. The studio announced earlier this month that Trolls director Mike Mitchell is taking over the directorial duties on The LEGO Movie 2, replacing Rob Schrab, who left over creative differences.
The LEGO Batman Movie was also a critical smash hit as well, earning an impressive 91% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While it's certainly well on its way to becoming a box office hit, it's possible that Warner Bros. may order a sequel for The LEGO Batman Movie, continuing Batman's story within this LEGO brick universe. If that does happen, then perhaps Emmet and Wyldstyle could join the mini-figure version of The Dark Knight on the big screen, but it's unclear if the studio is even considering a sequel at this point in time.