Chris Miller and Phil Lord hint film will 'examine why Batman is so bummed out'
Credit: Warner Bros.

LEGO Batman will grappling-hook his way back onto the big screen early next year with his own hero showcase, The LEGO Batman Movie. In the spin-off directed by LEGO Movie animation co-director Chris McKay, the brooding, cocksure Batman will have fun with the myriad historical incarnations of Bruce Wayne and receive assistance in his evil-thwarting mission from the Justice League. And the man who richly voiced LEGO Batman in 2014’s The LEGO Movie, Will Arnett, recently told EW that the story pits Batman not just against the Joker (played by Zach Galifianakis) but another familiar worthy adversary: himself. “Why is he so moody?” asks Arnett. “What’s going on? Why is he so banged up? And wouldn’t it be fun to get in there and explore that?”

LEGO Movie writers/directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord — who are producing The LEGO Batman Movie — are also geeked up to probe the Dark Knight’s darkness. “We’re trying to examine why Batman is so bummed out,” Lord tells EW with a laugh. “Because he should be psyched. He’s rich, he’s super good looking, he’s got all the best toys, he’s a crime fighter. There’s nothing to be sad about, so we thought maybe we could make a movie about, ‘What does it take for that guy to be happy?’ That’s what we were interested in. The same principle of, ‘Okay, this is a really silly thing to make a movie about, but we could examine why Bruce Wayne has to put on that mask every day and let’s see what underneath that. These cartoons are such a sneaky way to try to tell a meaningful story.”

Lord and Miller left the caped crusader in the highly capable hands of McKay, who, reports Miller, “is a super-huge comics fan and has a tattoo of Catwoman on his arm…. [He] has mined the 70-some years of Batman history to try to answer that question in a way that only an uber comics nerd can.”

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And though this film, whch hits theaters Feb. 10, lives in the genres of animation and family-friendly entertainment, the LEGO Batman team is seeking to transcend labels and rival the iconic live-action Gotham-set films. “The ambition is to make the coolest Batman movie ever,” says Lord, who is directing the Star Wars Han Solo prequel with Miller. Adds Miller: “I’m pretty sure it will be the funniest, but we also want it to be the coolest.”

More details about The LEGO Batman Movie — which also boasts the throats of Michael Cera (Robin), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), and Mariah Carey (Mayor of Gotham City) — will be revealed at the Warner Bros. panel this Saturday at Comic-Con.

To read more from Arnett on LEGO Batman, click here.

To read more from Lord and Miller on their new Fox live-action/animated comedy series Son of Zorn, click here.

The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Movie
  • 104 minutes