How The LEGO Batman Movie found a new take on the Joker

Chris McKay, director of The LEGO Batman Movie, has talked about how a new take on the Joker was developed for the film.

In an interview with Brick Fanatics, the director discussed how important the character is to the Batman world and why it was important to get the right take on the infamous villain. McKay described meeting Zach Galifianakis to discuss the role.

I took what our take was on the Joker and pitched it to him, but I also wanted to hear where his head was at, what his point of view was. He talked a lot about vulnerability and putting yourself out there as a comic. It made a lot of sense once we started really digging into the relationship.


A lot of the jokes in the first draft are very surface level, no-one’s going really deep into the characters. We’re just riffing on these things and we’ll make fun of this stuff in a sort of Airplane! parody way. The more that we deepened it with Batman and the Joker’s relationship, the more it became about a couple, about the emotions behind it, and the more it made sense for what Zach is really great at.

As well as ensuring that the character was portrayed correctly, having an actor with the right comedic sensibility was also key.

Zach is also one of these guys who is very thoughtful about the way jokes are told in comedy, so there’d be a lot of times where we sit there and take apart a joke to try to figure out the right way to do it and at the same time advance the character.

For the full interview with Chris McKay, click here.

The LEGO Batman Movie is in cinemas February 10. The LEGO Batman Movie range of LEGO sets are currently available to buy at

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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