The brand new trailer for The #LegoBatman Movie has got us even more excited for the film's release this February. Packed full of hilarious quips, awe-inspiring visuals and the debut of the Bat-Family, The Lego Batman Movie looks to be everything we could have wanted and so much more.
Check out the trailer below:
However, the trailer also happens to be packed full of awesome references to the Batman adaptations that came before it. Don't worry if you didn't catch them because you're about to get up to speed on those cleverly placed references.
While modern day adaptations of Batman seem to highlight a city which fears the Dark Knight and all that he stands for, The Lego Batman Movie is the complete opposite, showcasing the adoration the people of Gotham have for Batman. Not only is he treated like a celebrity, the city shows their love for him via cheers and a firework display. However, did you happen to notice the firework display exploded in the shape of a bat — Batman's trademark symbol — before the term "4-Ever" appeared in the sky? As in, Batman 4-Ever?
That term should sound familiar as Batman Forever was the name of the Joel Schumacher's 1995 film starring Val Kilmer as the Caped Crusader. While Schumacher is notorious for attempting to turn that dark Batman campy again with his critical failure Batman & Robin — which killed the franchise for eight years — Forever is actually a really underrated film and is overlooked far too often. So it's pretty cool that the Lego Batman Movie has paid tribute to it in this quirky way.
The Dark Knight Returns
For many fans, the most obvious references in the Lego Batman Movie trailer were those to Frank Miller's legendary comic turned animated film The Dark Knight Returns. Despite being the most famous Robin Dick Grayson, The Lego Batman Movie's Robin possess a quiff and wears green goggles around his eyes, much like the female Robin Carrie Kelly from The Dark Knight Returns. Although the tights are different at first, Robin hilariously rips them off, discarding them in Batman's face.
However, the similarities didn't stop there. When lightning strikes the Batplane, Robin is hurled out and begins to fall helplessly below. And in a sequence almost identical to The Dark Knight Returns, Batman throws himself after Robin and saves him, cradling him in his arms as he swings to safety.
Batman puts it all on the line to save his partner in an epic moment that pays homage to one of the most iconic images in the character's rich history.
It seems like the film will also pay tribute to the legendary 1966 Batman #TV series which starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the Caped Crusaders. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, the Joker is accompanied by a horde of extravagant supervillains. However, among those bad guys is none other than King Tut. Portrayed by Victor Buono, Tut was one of the show's original characters, created solely for the 1966 TV series and appeared regularly to confound Batman and Robin across all three seasons.
Egyptology Professor William McElroy was struck on the head in a student riot which caused this new personality — the reincarnated King Tut — and any times he was struck on the head afterwards, the personalities reversed. Originally created for the show, he was later adapted into the comics and then appeared in the animated series Batman: The Brave & The Bold. Tut's appearance in such a prominent film proves that after all these years, the legacy of the 1966 TV series is alive and well.
Moreover, during the trailer, the Joker throws a bomb at Batman that is actually labelled "bomb." The TV series was notorious for obviously labeling everything from abandoned warehouses to the villains' henchmen who were affectionately labeled "goons." In addition, the bomb itself is a reference to the iconic scene in the 1966 film spin-off Batman: The Movie, which featured Batman running around with the bomb over his head, remarking that "some days you just can't get rid of a bomb."
Furthermore, while not actually appearing as Batgirl in the trailer, Barbara Gordon does seem to have an affinity for purple — wearing the color every single time she appears. Purple is a color associated with many of Batgirl's outfits over the years, a pattern that began with Yvonne Craig's legendary portrayal of the character in the TV series.
The first time Batgirl appeared on screen in Season 3 of the Batman TV series was a milestone for female #superheroes which is why it's so great to see Barbara featured in such a prominent role in The Lego Batman Movie. This subtle nod to the original Batgirl is a fitting tribute to the late, great Yvonne Craig.
The hits just keep on coming, and this time they involve a few visual nods to Tim Burton's 1989 masterpiece Batman. We catch a glimpse of Batman staring a photograph of himself as a young boy in which he is accompanied by his parents — who knew you could selfies back then?
But Thomas and Martha Wayne are both standing outside the Monarch Theater. This is significant as the Monarch Theater featured prominently in Burton's Batman and is the location where both Thomas and Martha were murdered by Jack Napier, after an apparent viewing of Footlight Frenzy. While the theater has featured in other Batman adaptations since, it was Burton's legendary film that put it on the comic book map. And its presence in the photograph in The Lego Batman Movie makes us wonder if this was the last photo Bruce ever took with his parents.
The trailer also included a few less obvious nods towards the film. In the scene where Batman is discussing his greatest enemy is with the Joker, the Dark Knight — surrounded by a backdrop of flames — is looking into the sky at his archenemy, who is busy flying himself around in a mini copter.
The scene is reminiscent of the 1989 film in which Batman destroyed Axis Chemicals, only to be laughed at by the Joker who soared above in his trademark helicopter. Michael Keaton's unimpressed Batman glared at Nicholson's Joker as Axis Chemicals burned around him.
Not one of the most obvious references but a tasteful and subtle nod to what is still my favorite Batman film ever.
If you're a fan of Batman, check these out:
- Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed In Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders
- Batman: The Killing Joke Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
When Batman remarks to the Joker than in fact Superman is his greatest enemy, we observe a genius slow-motion segment of Batman going up against the Man Of Steel himself. However, the tone is noticeably grim, Batman's eyes glow brighter, Superman's eyes are eerily red and the rain is lashing down upon them as the bright lights of a grim Gotham City loom in the background. This is easily the most obvious Easter egg in the who trailer as it's clearly a reference to the 2016 blockbuster Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
However, there is also a well-hidden reference to that same film planted in the trailer as well. When Bruce Wayne is all suited up watching Commissioner Barbara Gordon make her announcement, can you notice any other familiar male faces in the background?
Now it could just be one of the many citizens of Gotham City, however it looks eerily like everyone's favorite mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. And Mr. Kent doesn't look too impressed with Bruce's remarks. This also happens to be eerily reminiscent of the scene in Batman V Superman where a spruced-up Bruce and Clark attend the gala at Lex Luthor's house and disagree about the "Bat vigilante of Gotham."
Additionally, Bruce's reaction to Barbara's comments almost seem anti-vigilante. Could he be channeling his inner Batman v Superman self to allow Batman to remain a loner?
In almost all retellings of the Batman mythos, Commissioner Gordon refers to one of the Dark Knight's most trusted allies — the iconic Jim Gordon. His daughter Barbara ends up becoming the crime-fighting heroine Batgirl. However, in The Lego Batman Movie, it appears that Barbara becomes Gotham City's newest Police Commissioner. This is quite possibly a nod towards the acclaimed DC animated universe series Batman Beyond — and its accompanying film Batman: Return Of The Joker — which featured a much older Barbara Gordon following in her father's footsteps as the Commissioner of New Gotham.
Ironically, while the older Commissioner Barbara Gordon condemned the new Batman in that series, the younger Barbara fully supports the Caped Crusader in The Lego Batman Movie and even wants the GCPD to work alongside him. She also seems bubbly and friendly, a far cry from her hardened battle-axe persona in Batman Beyond. But the question is — what happened to the original Commissioner Gordon?
The Dark Knight Rises
Again, another small visual reference here. In the Lego Batman Movie trailer, Batman defends the lack of room in his Batplane as he soars out across the bay, under the Gotham City bridge, boosting the flames as he disappears into the distance.
This scene is almost identical to Christopher Nolan's 2012 The Dark Knight Rises in which Batman saves Gotham by carting a nuclear bomb out of the city as he flies out to sea in the Bat. In those final few moments, he picks up the pace and much like the Lego Batman trailer, flames surge out of the back of his vehicle as he passes the bridge. This was a subtle but amazing reference to one of the most iconic Batman films of all time.
The trailer also includes a few references to the comics, including DC Comics' 2011 reboot "The New 52" which saw the company produce some of their most acclaimed graphic novels.
As Robin debuts his outfit in front of Batman, he is surrounded by an endless string of Batman's costumes which are on an assembly line, waiting to be tried on. While I'm sure there will be dozens of iconic suits hidden in there in the film, this trailer does provide us with a sneak peek at Batman's New 52 outfit — which is located on the middle of the left hand side — as well as a sneak peek at the Classic Batman outfit from the comics too.
So with The Lego Batman Movie due to be released early next year, this new trailer has done a fantastic job of making us even more excited for its arrival. With a truck load of references of classic Batman films and TV shows in this one two-minute trailer, I shudder to think about how many we might actually see during the actual film! It may not the part of the #DCEU but this trailer has proven that even Lego Batman can still be full of amazing Bat-references!
The Lego Batman Movie hits theaters on February 10, 2017. Did you notice anymore references in the trailer? Let us know in the comments below!