J.K. Rowling’s Contributions to “The LEGO Batman Movie”

The LEGO Batman Movie smashed into the box office last weekend. LEGO’s massive popularity was padded with a movie that seems to be a huge film mash-up – featuring villains from many iconic works of literature and pop culture, including Harry Potter‘s Lord Voldemort.

Lord Voldemort had a larger role than other villains Batman faced. Because of the more detailed use of a Harry Potter character, J.K. Rowling was contacted for her permission and input. The movie’s director, Chris McKay, had nothing but good things to say about working with J.K. Rowling. After giving her approval, Rowling sent back a few suggestions, including spells and sayings that would keep LEGO Voldemort true to character:

J.K. Rowling obviously cares very deeply about these characters, so we absolutely had to run stuff by her. But honestly, there were no notes. The only thing that she gave us was, like, spell suggestions and things like that that Voldemort should say. It was all really positive and helpful. It was never ‘I’m uncomfortable with that.’ I can’t say enough good things about working with her.

Even though Voldemort plays a larger role, the LEGO version of the character is voiced by Eddie Izzard, not Ralph Fiennes. Though, the Harry Potter actor does have a role in the film as the voice of Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler. Chris McKay discussed this casting decision with EW:

At one point I approached the studio and asked if I could get Ralph to do both [Alfred and Voldemort]. But unless you’re going to do a scene where Alfred and Voldemort confront each other, I didn’t want something to feel like a missed opportunity. [Laughs.] I do remember when I was pitching [Fiennes] the movie, I said, ‘Yeah, then all of these bad guys are going to be unleashed like King Kong and Sauron and Voldemort—’ And then I stopped for a second because I realized who[m] I was talking to.

McKay gave hope to LEGO movie fans, saying there was room for a second LEGO Batman movie. This and many more spoiler-filled details can be read in McKay’s interview with EW.