After the first film had Han Solo, Gandalf, Michelangelo, Abraham Lincoln, and Superman, obviously we knew The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was going to have some surprising cameos. And it does. But one moment in particular rises above the rest.
The moment comes at as part of one of the film’s biggest spoilers, though—so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, run away now.
The moment in question comes when Emmet realises that Rex Dangervest is actually Emmet from the future and that we’re going to see some time travel. The film then shows Lego sets of several different famous time machines, including Doctor Who’s TARDIS and the Back to the Future DeLorean, which have previously been made into Lego, but also Skynet from Terminator, the Hot Tub Time Machine hot tub, and the phone booth from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, none of which have been made in Lego before. In fact, two of those will never be made in Lego.
“Lego doesn’t like to do that,” said Lego Movie 2 director Mike Mitchell said of the very family conscious company. “They do not like R-rated material in our films.”
Terminator and Hot Tub Time Machine are both R-rated so it was a bit of a struggle to get them approved for the film.
“It was quite a negotiation [but] it didn’t take long for them to realise that it’s an irreverent tone and all in good fun,” Mitchell said. “So they let us go for it.”
It also probably also helped that producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller had tried going down this road in the past.
“Yeah, they don’t love the R-rated stuff,” Miller said. “We broke the seal [by using] The Matrix with [The] Lego Batman [Movie]. In the first Lego Movie we tried to do this weird Clockwork Orange reference and they did not like it. They thought that was not appropriate for families.”
“But so much of the audience for Lego are fans and grown-ups that are imagining more grown-up stuff with Lego bricks—it’s part of it,” Lord added.
Plus, the filmmakers can’t just put properties like Terminator, Bill & Ted, or Hot Tub Time Machine in The Lego Movie 2. There’s a process of acquiring the rights, getting approvals, and more. Luckily, Lord and Miller have friends in high places.
“We had to call a couple of friends and just say ‘Pretty please,’” Lord said. “People have been really nice and generous to let us [use their characters],” Miller added. “We’re not making fun of this stuff. It’s all out of love and joy.”
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is in theatres 21 March.