The LEGO Batman Movie is different from its predecessors because its hero is not only aware of other Batman adaptations, but he also makes fun of them. As a result, Will Arnett is grateful that they managed to get away with being “a little more preposterous.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arnett described his character as the “absurd Batman.” Since the film was animated, the team had the opportunity to make it more fun. While he did not get the chance to ask for tips from the previous Batman actors, he said he spent time with Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck.
When asked who his favorite Batman is, he said it’s Keaton, although he likewise praised Affleck for playing “this crazy, brooding, really muscular feel, like he’s going to knock you out of this planet Batman.”
Arnett is not the only one who’s a fan of Keaton. Stars Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate, as well as director Chris McKay and producer Dan Lin, previously told the website that they loved Keaton’s version of the renowned figure.
Just like Arnett, McKay is thankful that DC gave him the complete creative freedom to incorporate changes to the beloved character. After all, rules are not new when it comes to franchises. There are things which cannot be discussed in the story or boundaries that cannot be surpassed, but for the LEGO Batman Movie, such rules were non-existent.
Cinema Blend asked McKay if the studio gave him guidelines, to which he responded, “If there were, I didn’t get those notes.” He expressed his appreciation that Warner Bros. and DC felt that he, a self-confessed Batman devotee, could give justice to the film.
“Maybe people shielded them from me? But no, Warner Bros., DC, they were super on-board to make the movie we wanted to make. I love Batman; I’ve loved Batman my entire life, and so I think they felt for the most part that they were in good hands, and we were going to make a movie that was about a different side of Batman, that saw Batman in a different way, that took a path that other Batman movie can’t necessarily do. When I pitched the studio I told them I wanted to make ‘Jerry Maguire as directed by Michael Mann with a lot of jokes in it.’ And they saw the value in that kind of story.”
While some might find Batman’s jokes in the new film “too far,” McKay did not think of the situation that way. For him, Batman has exhibited flexibility in delivering pop culture pokes for more than 75 years. He is confident that fans will be glad about what they did in the LEGO Batman Movie.
“No, because I thought as a fan I thought I’d appreciate that — because I love those characters. You call them flaws or idiosyncrasies or whatever they are, Batman has been a very flexible character. He can be interpreted by Adam West in those movies, he can be interpreted by Ben Affleck in these movies, and the Tim Burton movies. He’s stood the test of time, and there’s something really funny about that, that we know the character so much that there’s people who may not be as much of a Batman fan as I am, they’re still going to get these references.”
It was just announced that Mike Mitchell would direct the LEGO Movie Sequel, and McKay’s advice to him is to “just go crazy and have fun with it.”
Meanwhile, the recent Regency Village Theater screening for the new film had a pre-party that was filled with family-friendly activities such as LEGO Batmobile building, lunchbox decorating, and face painting. Kid-approved food and beverage were served, including burgers, pizza, ice cream, and juice boxes.
[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Warner Bros./AP Images]