The LEGO version of the Caped Crusader (voiced by Will Arnett) is getting his own movie in 2017, tentatively known as LEGO Batman. LEGO Movie animation supervisor Chris McKay is calling the shots on the animated film, while the script is being provided by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novelist/screenwriter, Seth Grahame-Smith. With that combination of talent behind the camera, this project is shaping up to be quite a tongue in cheek take on Batman’s mythos.
Further case in point, the LEGO Batman voice cast includes a number of actors with proven comedy chops in key roles, including Arnett’s Arrested Development costar Michael Cera as Robin and Hangover trilogy star Zach Galifianakis as The Joker. However, the latest casting update for the animated movie is perhaps the least expected revelation thus far.
Deadline broke the news that music superstar/actor Mariah Carey has joined the LEGO Batman voice cast, but the news left many a person scratching their heads – as Deadline‘s initial report also claimed that Carey will provide the voice of Commissioner Gordon/Jim Gordon. However, THR has since clarified that Carey is voicing another key member of the Gotham City government in the film (see below):
This just in: Mariah Carey is NOT playing Commissioner Gordon but rather Gotham's mayor.— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) November 9, 2015
It’s possible that Carey will voice Mayor Marion Grange – one of the few non-male mayors that Gotham has had in the Batman comics – or an original character in LEGO Batman; either way, Gotham’s mayor is usually a supporting player in Batman stories, and that probably will not change here. Carey’s acting career didn’t exactly start on a strong note (see her infamous 2001 vehicle, Glitter), but she has since then gained more credibility thanks to her well-received supporting role in Lee Daniels’ drama Precious (and the brief appearance she made in Daniels’ historical drama The Butler).
LEGO Batman, as it were, will be the first theatrically-released Batman movie since Batman & Robin to feature the Caped Crusader, Robin, and Batgirl (Rosario Dawson) onscreen together – though odds are, the final result will be better, this time around. The LEGO Batman universe will of course include Alfred Pennyworth, as voiced by Oscar-nominee Ralph Fiennes, but it remains to be seen how deeper the film will dip its toe into the Dark Knight’s mythology (read: whether or not any super-villains besides Joker will make an appearance).
LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who are producing LEGO Batman, have said that the film will acknowledge the different eras of the Batman franchise. That idea also holds its faire share of comedic potential, given just how different the various iterations of Batman have been over the years – whether it’s Adam West’s camp-tastic Caped Crusader from the 1960s, Michael Keaton’s more serious Dark Knight from the late ’80s/early ’90s, or Christian Bale’s grounded take on the character during the 2000s.
LEGO Batman opens in U.S. theaters on February 10th, 2017, followed by Ninjago on September 22nd, 2017, The LEGO Movie Sequel on May 18th, 2018, and Billion Brick Race on May 24th, 2019.