By Edward Delaney
January and February are terrible months for movies. Normally it’s because it is post Oscar season, and many films which studios do not have high expectations for are released in the beginning of the year. This is often referred to as “dump month.” However, one of those movies became known for blowing everyone’s expectations. February 7, 2014 marked the release date of “The LEGO Movie, and it to everyone’s surprise it was a smash hit among critics, fans, and the box office. It featured a cast of talented voice actors and hilarious jokes. But what makes it so admirable is that many people judged the concept and assumed that it was going to be bad, including the studio which released it on such an unpopular month. Surprise, surprise!
Now, producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have much larger expectations to fill this time now that two spin-off films have been announced as well as a direct sequel; the next film to be released is “The LEGO Batman Movie” (the trailer came out just six days ago) , in which Will Arnett will reprise his vocal role as Batman. Many know Arnett from his work in the TV comedy “Arrested Development” as well as the Netflix original comedy “BoJack Horseman,“ and from what the trailer showed us, he still does have energy to play the joyfully pompous superhero.
This preview also delves into Bruce Wayne’s life, his relationship with Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes), and how he trains a young Robin (played by the loveable and boyish Michael Cera). Like it’s predecessor, there are many gags and pop cultural references sprinkled throughout, but nothing laugh-out-loud funny. They are clearly saving that portion for the actual premiere.
Of course what is a Batman movie without the Joker? I can already expect this version of the joker to resemble much less Heath Ledger’s violent performance in “The Dark Knight,“ and dwell in the territory of Caesar Romeo from “Batman: The Movie” (1968). After all, he will be voiced by Zach Galifianakis. Additional cast members include Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, and Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn.
“The LEGO Batman Movie” will be released by Warner Bros. Studios on February 10, 2017, followed by “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,“ September 22, 2017, and “The LEGO Movie 2,“ February 8, 2019.