Brick by brick, Warner Bros. is quietly constructing its universe of animated LEGO movies. It’s a vision that can be traced back to the barnstorming success of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s surprise hit, which amassed an eye-watering $469 million back in 2014.
That’s teed up a Ninjago spinoff and bona fide sequel to be released across 2017 and 2018, respectively, but not before Will Arnett’s irreverent Caped Crusader gets his time in the spotlight with February’s The LEGO Batman Movie.
Hailing from Chris McKay, who served as animation supervisor on The LEGO Movie two years ago, the director spoke with Empire recently regarding the upcoming offshoot, where he promised fans that Arnett’s solo outing will fully embrace the outlandish nature of the World’s Greatest Detective: “Just the idea of Batman is absurd. A guy who learns karate and dresses up at night to beat people up is ridiculous,” McKay said.
Enveloping Arnett’s masked vigilante with an all-star cast, the helmer then turned attention to the supporting players of The LEGO Batman Movie, starting with Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred. “Ralph committed fully to LEGO Alfred,” McKay revealed. “He told me he was inspired by [1935 high-society comedy] Ruggles Of Red Gap. It was amazing seeing him in the booth doing all this space work.”
Poking fun at the bizarre set reports coming out of Suicide Squad, at a time when Jared Leto’s method acting was getting more attention than the movie itself, Chris McKay conceded that, “I wish I had a story about Zach sending us dead rats, but he’s an incredible Joker. I’ve listened to him riff with Will for hours.”
That Zach is, of course, Zach Galifianakis, who will be terrorizing Gotham as the Clown Prince of Crime. He won’t be the only thorn in Batman’s side, though, with Michael Cera’s enthused Robin being the source of a migraine or three.
“Bruce accidentally adopts him at a party,” the director tells us of the movie’s main duo. “Robin is a Book Of Mormon-esque character, the ray of light to Batman’s brooding, Lord Byronic hero. It’s their dynamic that carries the movie, these polar opposites going head to head.”
The LEGO Batman Movie is due to land on February 10, 2017. Rosario Dawson (Batgirl) and Mariah Carey (the Mayor of Gotham) complete the ensemble.