While the entire world holds its breath for the first onscreen mashup of the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, another version of the dark knight of Gotham is already gearing up for its own run at the multiplex next February. But, don't worry, this version of the character will bear little resemblance to the one played by Ben Affleck in BvS — if the first trailer for The Lego Batman Movie is any indication. Spinning off from the crowd-pleasing) 2014 animated romp The Lego Movie, 2017's Lego Batman will focus on the scene-stealing figurine voiced by Will Arnett as he fights to protect his city from the threat of an evil tiny plastic Joker (Zach Galifianakis) alongside Batgirl (Rosario Dawson), Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes)… and Mariah Carey as the mayor of Gotham because why not.
If you've been reading advance reviews of Batman V Superman , then you have at least some idea of what to expect from that blockbuster film. But now we know what to expect from Lego Batman as well, so here are just some of the ways Lego Batman will distinguish itself from its live-action brethren — and some of the unexpected ways in which they look kinda similar, as well.
BvS boasts an impressive ensemble cast: not just Affleck and co-star Henry Cavill, but also Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, and Diane Lane among many others. Conversely, Lego Batman rides squarely on the shoulders of its lead voice actor, Will Arnett. He was undoubtedly the breakout star of the original Lego movie, and here gets his rightful chance to shine. The film will live or die on Arnett's comedic vocal talents… which means that Lego Batman is pretty much already a rousing success.
A Sense Of Humor
A movie doesn't necessarily need a rip-roaring sense of humor in order to be successful. (Although "dark" doesn't necessarily have to mean "not fun," either.) It's good that DC is trying to distinguish itself from the typically wise-cracking heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; but while many critics complain that BvS could have benefitted from a joke or two throughout its two-and-a-half-hour running time, the two-minute Lego Batman teaser packs plenty of jokes — and a winking self-awareness, like when the opening credits don't gloss over the existence of Joel Schumacher's widely derided films Batman Forever and Batman And Robin.
Pop Culture References
When Arnett's Batman boots up his Batcave computer, she speaks to him in the familiar tones of Apple's Siri. Later, we see him rising past a wardrobe full of suits both ridiculous (the Mexican bat "El Murciélago," complete with sombrero) referential (such as the red one labeled "Batman Beyond"). It's hard to imagine BvS, with all its world-building, grand mythology, godlike aliens, homicidal masked detectives, and sociopathic tech geniuses taking much time for lighthearted pop culture references like these.
But what any modern Batman films will (hopefully) always have in common with each other is eye-popping action set pieces. Even in the most middling BvS reviews, critics have been universally praising the imagery of the film for its sheer beauty. With Snyder's recognizable comic book-esque style of filmmaking and Lego Batman's highly-stylized animation, the two films actually aren't too terribly far apart in looks. (Aka, neither of them looks remotely "real," but they both look absolutely gorgeous.)
Justice League Teases
We all know by know that BvS will lay the groundwork for the upcoming Justice League movies by introducing audiences to Wonder Woman and providing cameos for Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash — all of whom will be getting their own solo feature film adventures as well. But Lego Batman is on the same superhero team up train; the trailer teases viewers with a glimpse of Batman running into action with Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash — as well as Green Arrow and Green Lantern — falling into formation behind him. Will we eventually get a Lego Justice League movie?
Fans of Mad Max: Fury Road are likely looking forward to the music of BvS, which was composed by Hans Zimmer in collaboration with Junkie XL — who also scored last summer's Oscar-nominated action sequel. But while BvS may boast a bombastic soundtrack, will it be able to measure up to the sick beats Lego Batman is about to drop? The teaser is bookended by Arnett's Batman improvising some tunes, which proves that we may be about to get a sequel to everyone's favorite theme song: "Darkness, No Parents."
The Lego Batman Movie will beat-box its way into theaters on Feb. 10, 2017. In the meantime, check out the first teaser right here:
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube (6)