The untold truth of The Lego Movie

With Will Arnett's toy-based Dark Knight taking center stage in The Lego Batman Movie this year, it's the perfect time to look back at Phil Lord and Chris Miller's kid-friendly masterpiece The Lego Movie.

The film starred a boatload of random characters from pretty much every major property, but it almost featured a few more—oh, and it almost didn't happen at all. From the weird cameos to the deep cut Lego jokes, this is the untold truth of 2014's The Lego Movie.

It almost starred R2-D2

From Batman to Lando Calrissian, The Lego Movie jammed in fictional characters by the armload. But it almost featured a much bigger Star Wars connection. Lord and Miller originally planned to have R2-D2 be a main character in the film, joining up with Emmet's group for pretty much the entire adventure. Miller described him as a "Batman-level" part of the narrative, though Lucasfilm was reluctant to offer up a Star Wars character for such a major role in the story. The fact that all these deals were coming together against the clock of Lucasfilm's sale to Disney probably didn't help matters.

A tough sell

Producer Dan Lin came up with the idea for an all-encompassing take on the Lego world, and travelled all the way to Lego's headquarters in Denmark to pitch the idea in 2008. Turns out the company wasn't all that excited to license its brand—even before the film became a hit, Lego was already one of the biggest players in the toy industry, and executives were worried about potentially risking that position with a lackluster movie. Lucky for everyone, Lin hired writers Kevin and Dan Hageman (Hotel Transylvania) to put together a more detailed treatment to pitch the Lego team, and they were sold on the idea. Fast forward a few years, and everything was awesome.

They used Batman pretty much for the cool factor

There's no denying that Arnett's Lego Batman was the breakout character from The Lego Movie (see his pending solo film for proof), but it turns out the producers chose him basically because he's cool. The creative team says they wanted to make Wildstyle's boyfriend an almost insurmountable foe for Emmet. Originally, the writers had Metal Beard as Wyldstyle's boyfriend, but decided to up the ante to the Dark Knight. Because who's cooler than Batman?

The score was written by the Rugrats' maestro

The beloved Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats was great for a lot of reasons, though the music was a big part of what made it so memorable. The creative team behind The Lego Movie opted to bring on some of that charm by tapping Rugrats composer and Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh to score the film. Along with those two beloved properties, Mothersbaugh has also contributed to The Last Man on Earth, 21 Jump Street, and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.

They cut a Lego make-out session

The Lego Movie was wild and weird, but there was apparently one line they couldn't cross: A make-out session. In the original cut, the Scuba Cops blew off their patrols to go make out with some mermaids, but apparently parents were irked during test screenings, so they cut the scene. Wyldstyle also laid a smooch on Batman at one point, but it was also axed.

It was the Flash's big screen debut

Though the Flash has been on the big screen a few times now thanks to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, The Lego Movie beat them all to the punch with the minifig interpretation of Barry Allen. Considering how much Warner Bros. and DC are banking on the big-screen Justice League universe, it's kind of funny to think something as quirky as The Lego Movie beat them to the punch.

They included some deep cut Easter eggs for Lego fans

Though the film packed in a boatload of Easter eggs about pop culture in general, it also included some subtle deep cuts for hardcore Lego nerds. Arguably the best? The little break at the center of Benny the spaceman's helmet. Back in the day, that was a common defect in those types of Lego minifig helmets, so the filmmakers made sure to include it as a nod for Lego fans.

21 Jump Street stars returned as DC heroes

Lord and Miller landed this project fresh off the success of their 21 Jump Street reboot, so they made sure to include a role for its stars in The Lego Movie. Listen closely, and you'll realize Channing Tatum was voicing Superman and Jonah Hill was bringing Green Lantern to life. If Henry Cavill doesn't pan out, at least Tatum has some experience as the Man of Steel. And hey, they're making a Green Lantern movie now—there'd have to be a good member of the Lantern Corps for Hill to play, right?

Star Wars alums played themselves

The Star Wars franchise played into some nice cameos, and they even attracted a few original stars back to reprise their roles from the original trilogy. Billy Dee Williams once again voiced Lando Calrissian (he's also reprised the role on the Star Wars: Rebels animated series), while Anthony Daniels once again voiced C-3PO.

Lord Business is a real (fake) Lego business

The film's big bad Lord Business runs the company Octan, which at first seems to be just a generic fictional company. Turns out, it is a fictional company—but a "real" one created by Lego in 1992. The company was a fictional brand of gasoline featured in some early 1990s sets.

It poked fun at How I Met Your Mother

Lord and Miller were writers during the first season of CBS' long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and they decided to poke a little fun with the fake TV series Where's My Pants? It's a clever little gag, and the accompanying line plays on the fact that the writers strung on the mystery of the mother for almost a decade. It apparently takes that long to meet the love of your life…and find your pants.

It would've taken 10 years if they'd made it with stop-motion

The film has one of the most original looks in modern CGI, with visual effects designed to emulate the look of stop-motion. From the built-in scuffs to the click and clack building scenes, they work really hard to make this movie look tactile and real. But had they actually gone the stop-motion route, it would've apparently taken about a decade to make—and it would have required a mind-boggling 15 million Lego bricks.

Macho and the Nerd

The filmmakers built a few Easter eggs looking at their own catalog into the background of The Lego Movie, including the hilariously weird movie poster in the background for Macho and the Nerd. Where did they come up with that idea? It's the actual Russian title of Lord and Miller's 21 Jump Street. Which really makes us want to watch the Russian cut of this movie very, very badly.

Everything was not awesome with Everything Is Awesome

The hit song "Everything Is Awesome" was performed by Tegan and Sara with an assist from the Lonely Island, but it was actually written by Shawn Patterson. On its surface, the song is a rollicking tune about why it's great when everyone works together and things are going great. But, those lyrics were actually written by Patterson while he was going through a divorce, so the "awesome" had an edge of sarcasm. Go back and listen to the song with this in mind, and see if it sounds any different.