— LEGO Batman (@LEGOBatmanMovie) January 7, 2017
Batman fans have had a chance to see a number of iterations of the character hit the big screen, from Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's versions in the '80s and '90s to Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder's more recent takes on the character. Despite all the different Batman incarnations, his origin story has stayed consistent: Bruce Wayne lost his family and, as a result, dedicated his life to superheroics. This backstory was included when Snyder introduced Ben Affleck's Dark Knight in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it will be a driving force of Bruce Wayne in The LEGO Batman Movie.
First introduced as a supporting character in Warner Bros' The LEGO Movie in 2014, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) quickly became a fan favorite among the ensemble of blocky-bodied heroes in the world created by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, Han Solo). As such, the Caped Crusader was a natural choice for Warner Bros' first spinoff film in the LEGO franchise. Now, a new promo for The LEGO Batman Movie highlights the hero's reluctant fatherly role to Robin in the upcoming film.
The official Twitter account for The LEGO Batman Movie debuted the new 30-second promo [above], focusing on Robin's both hilarious and heartbreaking desire for a family - as well as Batman's aversion to hugs. As Bruce's trusted butler explains to him, "Your fear is being a part of a family again." But, Robin is eager to be a part that new family.
Arnett's Batman is joined in the film by the orphan he adopted, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), who becomes the sidekick Robin, Bruce's butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes), and Gotham City police commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) - who has suited up as Batgirl in posters for The LEGO Batman Movie. Additional characters set to populate the DC Comics-inspired world include The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate), Two-Face (Billy Dee Williams), and Gotham City's Mayor McCaskill (Mariah Carey).
The theme of family - specifically Batman's fear of being a part of a family - has come up plenty of times throughout the marketing for The LEGO Batman Movie, including the most recent trailer. While each of the trailers for LEGO Batman's solo outing have highlighted the humor fans can expect from the film, it's also clear that the story will tap into the Caped Crusader's dark past - poking fun at gritty and serious portrayals of the superhero along the way.
Of course, whether The LEGO Batman Movie will see the same box office and critical success as The LEGO Movie remains to be seen. While Lord and Miller serve as executive producers on the spinoff, The LEGO Batman Movie was directed by Chris McKay (Robot Chicken) from a script by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Still, the humor displayed in all of the promos for LEGO Batman seem in line with The LEGO Movie. No matter what, fans will get the chance to see a lighter version of Batman hit the screen next month - before Affleck returns as the Dark Knight in Justice League later this year.