“I’ll take ‘Roles That Both Gary Oldman and Mariah Carey Have Played’ for $200, Alex.”
So far, the voice casting for the LEGO Batman movie has been exceptionally on-point, with Will Arnett reprising his satirically brooding role as the titular hero alongside Michael Cera’s Robin, Rosario Dawson’s Batgirl and Zach Galifianakis’ Joker. Joining that awesome lineup is Ralph Fiennes, who will lend his vocal talents to the role of Batman / Bruce Wayne’s wise old butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Over the weekend, Warner Bros. confirmed that Batman remains a big part of its interactive future. In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Ames Kirshen, vice president of product development for the Arkham and DC Comics games at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, stated, “Batman is one of the cornerstone IPs for Warner Bros. With the Arkham series, we were finally able to realize the full potential of the character.” It's not a very bold statement, though it is an obvious one.
Since Lego Batman first arrived on the scene in 2008, the Dark Knight has had quite a run of success with his various video game incarnations. Combined with the Batman: Arkham series, the pointy-eared millionaire has easily recorded tens of millions of game sales over the past seven years. Given the recent success with Batman: Arkham Knight (horrible PC launch notwithstanding), it makes a lot of sense for Warner Bros. Interactive to keep the big guy around in some form or another, even if current fan-favorite developer Rocksteady Studios is claiming to be done with Batman.
If you’re not particularly a fan of Jared Leto’s Joker aesthetic in Suicide Squad, then the latest Joker-centric news may put a smile on that face (sorry): Zach Galifianakis is in talks to join Will Arnett’s Batman and Michael Cera’s Robin in the LEGO Batman movie as the voice of the iconic clown prince. Cue laughter.
I'm going to be real with you, folks: even though we're looking down the barrel of 38 superhero movies over the next few years, the one that I'm looking forward to the most is easily Lego Batman, starring Will Arnett as the Caped and Blocky Crusader. It's been something I've been looking for ever since it was announced, but now, I've got an even bigger reason to want to see it, because we finally have a detail about the plot.
According to a red carpet interview with Arnett, along with cowriters and directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the 2017 Batman movie will focus on answering one question: Can Batman be happy?
If you've played one of the previous two LEGO Batman games, or really any of developer Traveller's Tales LEGO games, there's a certain degree of knowing what you're getting into with LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Though it certainly has a new coat of paint on it, so to speak, many of the mechanics and gameplay objectives are the same as they've always been.
The developers make up for that by giving players more of everything: playable characters, levels, collectibles, power-ups, costumes side quests, Easter eggs and locations. Mix that more-is-more mentality with an enduring charm and sense of humor, and you've got a pretty compelling package, albeit one that tends to bring out some of my worst tendencies as a player.
For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, the above infographic is an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment. ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together this timeline that reveals what the next six years of superhero movies look like, with some dates and titles still to be announced. The graphic will be updated as new information is released.
To this day, The LEGO Movie remains one of exactly two movies about Batman released in my lifetime that I missed out on seeing in the theater. The other, incidentally, is Mask of the Phantasm, and I'm as surprised as you are that I somehow missed out on that one, but considering that I didn't have a car or my own source of income when I was 11, I can at least use that as an excuse. Sadly, missing out on The LEGO Movie is entirely on me, and remains one of my greatest regrets.
But here's the good news: It seems that I'm getting another shot at seeing the blocky, thumbless incarnation of the World's Greatest Detective on the big screen, because Warner Bros. has announced a LEGO Batman movie coming to theaters in 2017.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is going to be a positively huge video game.
I got to see that first hand when I played a brief demo at DC's booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. First off, it's got a huge playground for players to explore. The "Beyond Gotham" of the title refers to outer space, and the game will go to a whole host of different worlds. Then there are the playable characters--105 or so, according to the game makers, and they include characters in both their superhero guises and as their secret identities. A new feature enables players to change from Clark Kent to Superman using a phone booth, for example.
I don't think it's going to surprise anyone if I mention that the LEGO Batman series has produced some of my all-time favorite superhero video games. I mean, I like LEGO and I certainly like Batman, so that's a no-brainer, but the truth of the matter is that they've started off strong and just keep getting better. The second game's expansion into a huge, open LEGO version of Gotham City populated with the heroes of the Justice League was really fantastic, and I've often wondered how they were going to top it. I figured maybe they'd throw in a few visits to other cities and call it a day.
Turns out, I vastly underestimated the developers at TT Games. They, along with Warner Bros. Interactive, have just announced LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, and this time, IT'S IN SPACE.