On the heels of last year's breakout hit The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. has started development on a whole new LEGO Cinematic Universe. A sequel to the original is due out in 2018, and LEGO Ninjago is already scheduled for late 2017. But before both of these films hit theaters, audiences will first be reintroduced to LEGO Batman.
Funnyman Will Arnett is set to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader from The LEGO Movie in the spinoff, with LEGO Movie‘s animation co-director Chris McKay at the helm. Batman will also have a sidekick this time around, as Michael Cera recently joined the cast to voice Robin. And now sources have revealed who will be playing the villain.
According to sources at THR, Zach Galifianakis is in final negotiations to voice the Joker in LEGO Batman, which is written by author-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). The Lego Movie's directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will only be producing the new film, while continuing to work on the sequel.
Galifianakis just wrapped Fox 2000's comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses with Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm, and he'll next appear in the TV show Baskets on FX in 2016. However, the actor is also no stranger to animation, after voicing characters in Puss in Boots, The Simpsons, and Bob’s Burgers. Galifianakis also recently played a supporting role in the Best Picture Oscar-winning film, Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
Two other voice actors have already played the Joker in the LEGO Batman video games, each providing their own take on the egomaniacal mastermind. Based on the source material, chances are that Galifianakis's interpretation will be played up to be a little more crazy and funny than how the character has been shown in the past.
Still, it should be rather interesting to see two different version of the same character on the big screen within six months of each other. Though a very different in story, Jared Leto is due to play the clown prince of crime in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, before LEGO Batman debuts in theaters.
LEGO Batman opens in U.S. theaters on February 10th, 2017, followed by Ninjago on September 22nd, 2017 and The LEGO Movie Sequel on May 18th, 2018, and Billion Brick Race on May 24th, 2019.