After the critical and commercial success of The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. moved forth on a whole universe of films set in the world, green lighting spinoffs and official sequels. The first of these projects is The LEGO Batman Movie, which takes the fan-favorite Caped Crusader from the original film (voiced by Will Arnett) and gives him his own solo vehicle that offers an amusing LEGO twist on Batman lore and film history. It's set to hit theaters in February 2017.
The studio has kicked off their marketing efforts early, releasing a teaser trailer last week (just in time for the premiere of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), featuring the title hero kicking back in the Batcave and enjoying some lobster thermidor. Now, WB gives viewers a glimpse of life in Wayne Manor via a second teaser that shows Batman trying to have a private moment with his parents (watch it above).
Beginning with Bruce Wayne telling a photograph of his mom and dad about him saving Gotham (complete with dramatic music), the preview quickly shifts to comedy when moviegoers get their first look at LEGO Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). The loyal butler's role as Bruce's surrogate parent is hinted at, as he appears concerned about Batman's emotional wellbeing. In an example of how LEGO Batman will look to honor the previous Batman movies, Alfred recalls "similar phases" that coincidentally have occurred in years during which Batman has appeared in live-action media (including the Adam West TV show).
A big takeaway from both trailers is that even though LEGO Movie helmsmen Phil Lord and Chris Miller aren't calling the shots this time around, LEGO Batman looks to be maintaining the good-natured irreverent sense of fun that the duo established with their film. That isn't surprising, given that LEGO Movie animation co-director Chris McKay is the one in charge. Sometimes, giving a breakout supporting character the spotlight in a followup doesn't always for for the best (see: Minions), but the creative team seems to have a good read on things and should do the material justice. Based on what's been shown so far, it's hard for anyone well-versed in the Batman mythos to not be excited for this one.
One thing the film has working in its favor is a whole new cast of characters for Batman to play off. The plot revolves around Bruce learning to let go of the "lone vigilante thing" and work with new allies such as Robin (Michael Cera) and Batgirl (Rosario Dawson) to stop the Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) evil plan. That has the potential to deliver an emotionally satisfying story to please viewers both young and old, similar to the first LEGO Movie, complete with the pop culture parodies that the brand has become known for in recent years.
All in all, it's a great time to be a Batman fan. Despite Dawn of Justice dividing fans and critics, Ben Affleck's portrayal of the next big screen Dark Knight was very much acclaimed, building buzz for his solo movie. As we await official confirmation on when specifically that'll be coming through the pipeline, seeing the brooding superhero get a gleeful sendup should be a great treat in its own right.
The LEGO Batman Movie 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.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures