The Lego Batman Movie has just hit cinemas and it’s an action-packed, one-joke-a-second kind of affair that has a riot poking fun at the superhero genre. At the same time, it clearly loves comic-book movies to bits and is packed with cameos from the DC universe and plenty of Easter eggs. We watched it and spotted heaps. Here’s our round-up, but a word of warning: Don’t read on if you’re worried about SPOILERS as the following words will SPOIL A WHOLE LOT for you!
If you’ve seen the poster for The Lego Batman Movie, you’ll have some idea of the kind of cameos we’re talking about. There’s a bunch of them – some obscure, some less so. But this is just the tip of the Iceberg Lounge, the Penguin-owned nightclub which gets its very own cameo. Not only are there masses of DC characters, but a bunch of other iconic screen baddies as well. So we’re just going to dive right in and list all the characters we spied – apart from the very obvious, of course – breaking them up into supervillains, uber-villains and Justice League heroes.
This troupe of bad guys is at first corralled by The Joker, then called on to help obliterate the shared threat posed by the uber-villains. These are the ones we spotted:
- Poison Ivy
- Mr Freeze
- The Eraser
- Zodiac Master
- Condiment King
- Calendar Man
- King Tut
- Harley Quinn
- Two Face
- The Riddler
- Polka Dot Man
- March Harriet
- Red Hood
- Killer Croc
- Clock King
- Kite Man
- Hugo Strange
- Zebra Man
- The Kabuki Twins
- Captain Boomerang
This band of extra-terrifying baddies are part of The Joker’s plan to make Batman hate him again. After being banished to the Phantom Zone, The Joker rallies this angry mob to wage war on Batman and Gotham City. The majority are characters from the Warner Bros. back catalogue, and while some are named in the film, others aren’t – possibly because of rights issues.
This means, for instance, that the shark that appears but isn’t named may or may not be Jaws or Finding Nemo’s Bruce. Or perhaps it’s a nod to the studio’s forthcoming shark film Meg, which pits Jason Statham against an ancient Megalodon. Most likely, it’s actually the shark that Batman does battle with in the 1966 movie… holy sardine!
Anyway, here goes:
- Lord Voldemort
- Eye of Sauron
- Daleks (referred to as British robots)
- The Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys
- The Kraken from Clash of the Titans
- Agents from The Matrix
- King Kong
- Jurassic Park’s Tyrannosaurus Rex and a velociraptor
- The Mummy
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon
- The skeleton army from Jason and the Argonauts
Interestingly, Voldemort is voiced by Eddie Izzard while Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, is supplying the voice of Alfred in the film. How meta.
Justice League Heroes
And finally, the Justice League heroes crop up at Superman’s Justice League party, which Batman crashes but isn’t invited to. Among the guests is a DJ that’s referred to as “Wonderdog.” This could be a reference to DC Comics character Rex the Wonder Dog. But it’s worth noting that it could also be Krypto the Superdog, Superman’s dog from the comic books. Batman also had a dog named Ace who appeared in the comics.
Here are the other party guests we spotted:
- Wonder Woman
- The Flash
- Green Lantern
- Martian Manhunter
- Green Arrow
- Black Canary
- The Wonder Twins
- Black Lightning
- Apache Chief
While the Batcave in The Lego Batman Movie is a treasure trove of Batman vehicles, costumes and references, it’s the ones scattered throughout the film that really pay off. Here are some of the Easter eggs we found, some of them oblique, others more obvious:
“Iron Man sucks” is the password to get into the Batcave, while a reference to chimichangas by Batman is a sly poke at Deadpool. We all know the chimichanga is Wade Wilson’s favourite food!
Deadpool is also brought to mind in the opening credits. Where that film went all out with self-reflexivity, replacing actual names with ‘Asshats’ and the like, The Lego Batman Movie follows suit. Only in this film, there’s a Batman voiceover, with the Caped Crusader mentioning logos and studio executives in a gentle veiled swipe.
Look closely and you’ll see references to Ferris Air. This is the airline run by Carol Ferris, love interest of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Jordan also worked for the company.
There are numerous references to past screen incarnations of Batman both visually and in the dialogue. A pilot harks back to the time of “the parade” and “Prince music” when speaking to The Joker early on, recalling Tim Burton’s 1989 big-screen adaptation. Joel Schumacher’s 1995 sequel, meanwhile, is referenced later on – a banner in a crowd scene celebrating Batman’s efforts to defuse The Joker’s bomb reads: “Batman Forever.”
Alfred alludes to a batch of screen adaptations when he calls out all the times he’s seen Batman in crisis over the years. As he reels off each year, we see LEGO versions of the previous screen versions pop up, finishing with 1966 and a clip from the 1960s series starring Adam West.
The old 1960s series is cited numerous times throughout the film. The original Neal Hefti-composed theme can be heard – most notably as the Batmobile’s horn. Alfred also dresses up as 1960s Batman later in the film, and there is a scene where words including Bap, Bam, Kapow, Thud and Zok are rendered in digital Lego bricks on the screen, apeing their usage from the old TV series.
Finally, shark repellent bat-spray makes an appearance. Originally seen in the 1966 film, Robin hands the canister to Batman who uses it to deal with a shark that has latched onto his leg. In The Lego Batman Movie, it comes in handy late on when the shark from the Phantom Zone attacks.
Just as Batman’s iconic theme tune gets a look-in, so does Superman’s – from the classic 1978 film featuring Christopher Reeve. The John Williams composition is the chime of his doorbell at the Fortress of Solitude.
Dad Jor El also makes an appearance.
As Batman hurtles towards the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings in an effort to destroy it, we hear him say, “Almost there… almost there” – a direct lift of the famous line of dialogue from Episode IV: A New Hope.
On the back of a magazine called Bricks that Batman is holding at the commissioner’s party, you’ll see the name ‘Barris’. This is a tribute to George Barris, designer behind the legendary 1966 Batmobile from the classic TV series. Barris died in 2015.
On the door of a truck belonging to the pun-tastic laundry company Phantom’s Own is written the words: “Operated by Quinzel.” Harleen Quinzel is the real name of supervillain Harley Quinn.
When Batman refers to Bruce Wayne, he calls him Bruno. You might wonder why. Well, we have an answer. In some Spanish-speaking countries, Bruce Wayne is known as Bruno Díaz.
There’s a fleeting glimpse of a shop called Wendell’s Electronic Emporium on the streets of Gotham. This could be a nod to Wendell Lewis – aka The Sewer King – a minor Batman adversary who ruled an underground realm in the Gotham City sewers.
The eagle-eyed might spot the Falcone Express as they’re watching. The name Falcone belongs to a family of Mafiosi with a stranglehold on organized crime in Gotham.
When Batman is asked to work as part of a team, he asks who he’s going to be working with – and one of his suggestions is Fox Force Five. This is the fictional cancelled TV show mentioned in Pulp Fiction. You know, the one Uma Thurman’s character Mia Wallace made a pilot for. The show was about an all-female team of secret agents.
So that wraps our round-up of cameos and Easter eggs. We bet we’ve missed some – see whether you can find more. Did you know you can add them to the Lego Batman Movie Wiki?
The Lego Batman Movie is in cinemas from February 10.