While the poster projects from DC Comics will always be their live-action spectacles, the studio has never been shy to bring animated adventures to the big screen.
Teen Titans GO! To The Movies received major praise from fans and critics alike, and next year's League of Super Pets is being primed for a strong box office return considering the A-List cast being assembled for it.
Even with the animated side of DC being decently successful, these popular theatrical projects rarely receive the green light on a follow-up.
LEGO BATMAN DIRECTOR ON JUSTICE LEAGUE-CENTRIC SEQUEL
Will Arnett's Lego Batman was about to get some super friends.
Speaking with Screen Crush , The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay spoke about the canceled sequel's storyline:
“It was a story about the Justice League and where Batman was in terms of the Justice League now, and the struggles they were going through, as well as flashing back to how the Justice League came together. [It also featured] Batman and Superman’s relationship, as well as Batman's relationship to a lot of the other members of the Justice League."
Aside from the big Justice League plot, McKay noted that Michael Cera's Robin would've seen a bigger narrative, too:
"And Robin, obviously, there was a really great part for Robin.”
ANY FUTURE FOR LEGO BATMAN?
Unfortunately, it seems like the Lego Batman franchise is wrapped with just the one project.
The Justice League did make brief appearances in the 2017 original, but were nothing more than cameo roles. McKay seemed ready to promote Channing Tatum's Superman, Jonah Hill's Green Lantern, and more to main cast members. This would've followed suit with the Lego Batman video game franchise, as the follow-up to Lego Batman: The Videogame received the title Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and focused its campaign on a narrative that integrated the core members of the Justice League.
Most intriguing from McKay's quotes is the note about "flashing back to how the Justice League came together." Unlike the live-action DCEU, the Lego Batman franchise had the Justice League as an already-formed team. Rather than focusing the story on their initial unification, McKay would've been able to play with a completely unique present-day storyline that could have been enhanced by relevant flashback scenes.
Unless plans suddenly change, it looks like DC's animated focus is completely on League of Super Pets, as the studio has assembled a stacked (and likely expensive) cast for that cartoon adventure.
While a direct-to-DVD Lego Batman sequel could work, as numerous strongly-received DC animated flicks drop without a theatrical release, the voice talents of Tatum, Hill, Arnett and beyond are likely too pricey to bring in for anything other than a theatrical release.