With the avalanche of news coming out of Comic-Con International in San Diego, it would be easy to understand if you missed some reveals from the show. One thing you definitely shouldn’t have missed — or overlooked if “Justice League” and “Wonder Woman” stole most of the headlines — is the debut of the first official trailer for the upcoming “The LEGO Batman Movie” from Warner Bros. While there were two previous teaser trailers, this one was more focused on laying out the story than poking fun at the past or nodding to the audience.
Directed by “Robot Chicken” veteran Chris McKay and starring Will Arnett, reprising his subversive take on Batman from 2014’s “The LEGO Movie,” the new trailer Batman’s big screen LEGO adventures gives us plenty of brand new looks at the film’s story and gags. It also makes clear what appears to be the heart of the film: Batman’s relationship with his son, Robin. (Cue dramatic music.) We couldn’t stop watching the trailer, and we’ve broken down its biggest highlights for you:
10. Batman has a son!
We’re getting a whole new take on Robin in the LEGO movie universe. Instead of just being Bruce Wayne’s ward, Robin (played by Michael Cera), is actually Batman’s son. Alfred lets the beans spill about Batman’s kin early on in the trailer, chastising the Dark Knight about the lack of time he spends with the boy he adopted at a charity ball. To which Batman can only respond, “I thought I was being sarcastic.”
Since Robin’s adopted, we’re clearly not talking Damian Wayne, Batman’s biological son introduced during 2006’s “Batman and Son” storyline for DC Comics. Batman’s actual son is nowhere to be found, replaced instead by the original Robin (and current Nightwing), Dick Grayson. But, be prepared, this Dick Grayson isn’t exactly the Grayson you’re used to reading. He’s a bit flashier and he might not be all there in the head. Not that this particular Batman is the best role model for him…
9. Alfred’s clearly the parent
Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) is more than just a butler to Batman/Bruce Wayne. In this film Alfred appears to play more of a parental role to the self-absorbed Brick Knight. Going as far as activating the parental controls on the Bat-computer, Alfred locks Batman out of his own system (“Gasp!”), due to his lack of attentiveness.
Alfred spends most of the trailer coaxing Bruce Wayne out of the costume. “Sir, it’s time to stop this unhealthy behavior,” Alfred chastises the Dark Knight. “You can’t spend the rest of your life alone, dressed in black and staying up all night.” Swimming in Wayne Manor’s swanky indoor pool (complete with jumping dolphin), followed up by popping a late-night snack into the Bat-microwave, Batman clearly disagrees with Alfred’s assessment of his life.
Alfred’s point is made even clearer when he flings open the blinds in Wayne Manor and the full light of day reveals itself to Batman. The Dark Knight’s response? The obvious one to any night owl, er… bat: to hiss at the light pouring into the mansion.
8. Dick Grayson discovers the Batcave
Even the Batman can’t leave a kid alone to just wander around the house. The new, Coke bottle-bespeckled Dick Grayson wanders through the mansion, poking here and there, even playing “Slip and Slide” across the mansion’s oversized banquet table. Dick wanders up to a random camera somewhere in Wayne Manor, and whispers to it, “Hello, secret camera.”
While far from becoming the world’s greatest detective like his adopted dad, the soon-to-be Boy Wonder stumbles out of a service elevator and lands in front of the Bat symbol-shaped entrance to the cave. Running in amazement down the gangway of the hidden lair, all sorts of Bat-vehicles rising from the depths around him, Grayson stumbles into Batman. Perplexed by what he’s seeing, Dick asks the only question that makes sense: “Wait does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement?”
Arnett’s Batman replies in exactly way you might expect from him by now. “No! Bruce Wayne lives in Batman’s attic.”
7. The Batcave is where it’s at!
This isn’t your average, ordinary Batcave. Sure, there’s been all sorts of cool variations of the Batcave over the years, but how many have a Bat-computer voiced by Apple’s Siri? (And yes, that is the actual voice of the computerized assistant, Susan Bennett playing the computer.)
We get our first look at the Bat-computer, with its numerous screens arranged to resemble a bat, right at the top of the trailer. “Computer,” Batman asks. “How do I put Joker in Arkham? Quickest route. No freeways.” There’s no answer, of course, because Alfred’s already locked him out of the system.
The computer also returns at the end of the trailer to set up one of the trailer’s best jokes. With Batman flying the Batplane back to Wayne Manor, he announces his presence. “Hey, Computer I’m home!” Siri replies, “What’s the password?” Batman answers back by phonetically singing the jingle to the 1960s “Batman” TV show.
Then there’s all the Bat-vehicles. Eagle-eyed watchers will be able to check out a number of Batmobiles and Batboats across, the years, including what appears to be all of the Batmobiles from the Tim Burton movies.
6. Robin picks his costume
The moment that could be the highlight of the trailer. Dick Grayson, not listening to Batman, hits a button in the Batcave that brings forth all of Batman’s different costumes. Naturally, he can’t help but try them all on. With costumes named “Knight Terror,” “Glambat,” “St. Batricks” and “The Batriot,” Grayson eventually lands upon the “Reggae Man” costume.
Featuring a sparkling yellow cape, Rastafarian hat with dreads and green gloves, Dick falls in love with the new costume. It is a bit “restricting” for the young lad, though. And in one deft move, he rips the pants off and we get the classic Dick Grayson/Robin costume, bare legs and all. Followed up by the cringe-worthy moment of Grayson dancing around, singing: “Now I’m free. Now I’m movin’. Come on, Batman! Let’s get groovin!'”
Batman’s reply to the spectacle says it best: “I can only look you in the eyes right now.”
5. A whole new Batmobile
With its “BT1TUDE” license plate, “The LEGO Batman Movie” is giving us a brand new ride for the Brick Knight. Sporting five engines (you can never have too many engines), the black car with red highlights, is an insane cross between the classic TV show’s Batmobile and something straight out of the recent “Mad Max: Fury Road.” How fancy is this new ride? It can transform into the Batplane on the fly. It also shoots a ton of flames.
And while it is a cool ride, it’s still missing some key features. Heading out for the first time as the Dynamic Duo, Robin checks the cockpit out for the seatbelts. Batman lives dangerously, though, giving his adopted son one of his life lessons: “Life doesn’t give you seatbelts!” This statement naturally sets Batman up for a proverbial fall — and some future pain for Robin. When the Caped Crusader slams on the brakes to avoid hitting an old lady; Robin’s sent flying into Batmobile’s dashboard. If nothing else, though, Batman is somewhat sympathetic, telling the Boy Wonder he’ll have Alfred install seatbelts when they get back.
4. Joker gets a bit of a makeover.
While the Clown Prince of Crime doesn’t get a ton of screen time in this first trailer, we do get the briefest looks at the latest big screen incarnation of the Joker, this time being played by Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover”). Hanging out of the Jokermobile, the Clown Prince of Crime is at his craziest, decked out in his classic purple suit (with coattails, even). While there isn’t much to sink your teeth into, those few seconds do give a look at his latest (somewhat classic) duds and an earful of Joker’s trademark cackle.
If you look closely (and quickly enough) you can spot everyone’s favorite henchgirl, Harley Quinn. Dressed in her traditional harlequin outfit, Harley’s leading the getaway behind the wheel of the Jokermobile. While she’ll be getting more of the spotlight in “Suicide Squad,” any Harley is always more than welcome.
Batman’s leading the charge with the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Flash and Green Lantern all in tow. To what extent the rest of the Justice League are players in the movie still remains to be seen, but based on Batman’s baddest villains assembling in an earlier teaser there’s a good chance he calls in his teammates for some sort of battle royal a la Super Friends vs the Legion of Doom.
We also get a quick peek at Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), in the trailer. At what looks to be a gala of some sort, Barbara’s greeted by Commissioner Gordon. Also in the shot is a blonde woman, who may or may not be Gotham City Mayor Marion Grange, voiced by Mariah Carey. There’s no sign of Batgirl in costume to be found in the trailer, but we’re looking forward to Dawson inhabiting the role and helping Arnett’s Batman clean up the mean streets of Gotham.
2. Will Arnett being Batman
The question has been posed time and time again in the comics. Is Batman the mask Bruce Wayne wears, or is Bruce Wayne the mask Batman wears? The same could be said of “The LEGO Batman Movie’s” Batman. Is it Will Arnett playing Batman, or Batman playing Will Arnett. The actor’s signature cockiness is on display throughout the trailer and, like many of his characters, he refuses to apologize after dropkicking Alfred into a grand piano. Startled by his presence, Batman sends his manservant flying into the piano, the lid crashing down on top of the butler’s head. “Alfred!” Batman responds to his impulsive maneuver. “I’ve got incredible reflexes.”
In another scene in the Batcave Batman asks Robin, “Are you ready to follow Batman and maybe learn a few life lessons along the way?” Father of the year may not be an award this Bruce Wayne will ever be up for, but he just might earn plenty of belly laughs next February.
1. A (dysfunctional) family reunion
“The LEGO Batman Movie” isn’t the first time Will Arnett and Michael Cera have worked together or the first time they’ve played relatives. They both starred in “Arrested Development” as members of the Bluth family. Arnett, played Gob, an arrogant, disgraced magician, and Cera played his nephew George Michael, an awkward teen and a dishonest tech entrepreneur. (“We just say manager.”)
The relationship between Gob and George Michael seems to be almost painfully similar to that of Batman and Robin. Like LEGO Batman, Gob is self-absorbed and cut off from his emotions. Like LEGO Robin, George Michael is also very “Michael Cera-ish,” marked by fast-talking and frequently awkward interactions.
Hopefully (and probably somewhat predictably), Batman will be a bit more caring of his adopted son by the end of “The LEGO Batman Movie,” than Gob is of his nephew. Of course, he’ll need to get past his arrested development to be the father Dick needs.
What was your favorite moment fro “The LEGO Batman Movie” trailer?
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