The LEGO Movie surprised general filmgoers by building a surprising amount of humor and heart into what could have been simply a feature-length commercial for the popular toy brand. This may have been the result of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street), who have a track record of directing movies that are better than they have any right to be. Fans have fingers crossed that this strange magic carries over to their upcoming untitled Young Han Solo and Animated Spider-Man projects. But if marketing is to be believed, it looks like their playful humor has carried over to the spinoff film, The LEGO Batman Movie. This despite their handing off directorial duties to Chris McKay (Robot Chicken).
Warner Brothers is additionally preparing an official LEGO Movie Sequel, and a couple of other spinoffs, including The LEGO Ninjago Movie and The Billion Brick Race. But first, they must convince audiences that this February, The LEGO Batman Movie won't just be a cheap cash-in on the success of the original.
Here to help with that is a "Behind the Bricks" featurette (see above), a mockumentary about the making of The LEGO Batman Movie. It takes cues from The Muppets' marketing technique, which assumes the characters are playing themselves in the film and lets them explain the roles they will be filling this time. Lego Batman is quick to take responsibility for the box office success of the original LEGO Movie and promises that his spinoff is a way for him to "give back" to his fans.
Despite its tongue-in-cheek nature, the video does a good job of advertising the personalities and humor of the film. Will Arnett (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is returning to the role of Lego Batman, joined by fellow Arrested Development alum Michael Cera as Robin, Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) as a surprisingly even-keeled Joker, Rosario Dawson (The Defenders) as Batgirl, and Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) as Alfred. If their featurette is to be believed, they will all be the protagonists of the film.
Considering the Dark Knights most recent appearances in the DCEU have been criticized for being overly grim, LEGO Batman oddly almost seems like a direct criticism of Warner Brothers' own movies. In the very least, it's a pendulum swing towards back towards the absurd antics of the 1966 television series, albeit with a more modern, self-referential tone. It will be interesting to see if the box office responds as well, or better than it did to the original Lego outing.
Source: Warner Brothers
- The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017