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One sure fire way to take someone back to their childhood is to combine two things they love, in this case - Lego and Batman. The Warner Bros. cash cow has done just that with their upcoming LEGO Batman Movie.
The first LEGO Movie in 2014 was a 'smash brick' that took us all by surprise, grossing over $469 million and starring the likes of Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman and Will Ferrell. It captured the imagination of children and adults worldwide, but it was Will Arnett's performance as the grouchy Lego Batman which stole the show:
I only use black... and sometimes dark shades of grey.
As of March 2015, The Lego Movie has a planned sequel and three spin-off movies — the first being The Lego Batman Movie. A trailer is soon expected to drop out of the toybox, but in the meantime we have these pictures, while director, Chris McKay, has given us a few titbits.
Arnett returns as the Caped Crusader and is helped by his butler Alfred, this time played by the impeccable Ralph Fiennes. Together they are joined by Robin and Batgirl (played by Michael Cera and Rosario Dawson), to take on The Joker — played by Zach Galifianakis. Whether Galifianakis can match up to the vocal talents of Mark Hamill is unknown, but we are willing to give him a chance.
The Batman franchise is nothing new to Lego. Batman was introduced in toy form in 2006, before branching into gaming with Lego Batman: The Videogame in 2008. A sequel (Batman 2: DC Superheroes) introduced the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, while the third (Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham) took the cast of the Justice League into space.
There is now a continuing line of Lego sets featuring the Dark Knight, as well as reams of other merchandise. While a Lego Batman has graced our screens before in several Cartoon Network specials and a direct to video spin-off from the second game, The Lego Batman Movie is the first time a brick Bruce Wayne will be in theaters.
While the pictures don't give much of the plot away, it seems that Batman is going around his usual day-to-day business. Arnett told USA Today it is great to return to the role:
The Batcave is even better than we remembered it, it's awesome...But I also love getting into the ho-hum day-to-day of being Batman and what it's like to fight crime each day. Like the idea of Batman oversleeping his alarm clock makes me laugh. It really does humanize him.
Given the tone of the previous Lego big screen outing, plus the comedic tone of the video games, it is unlikely McKay will be going down the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice route with the film. It is more family values and friendship cores, he stated:
Batman is an island onto himself, the only thing he doesn’t have is relationships...We're making About a Boy as directed by (action director) Michael Mann.
Certainly when you have Zack Galifianakis as your Joker, you should't expect a Jared Leto/Suicide Squad performance. That is all we have until a trailer is released and unfortunately we won't be firing up the Lego Batwing until February next year, which gives us plenty of time to build our own Lego Batcave to wait in.