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If DC’s “expanded universe” continues to struggle – and this week saw upcoming movie The Flash lose its second director – studio Warner Bros might want to consider shrinking its entire roster of colorful crimefighters down and just make Lego superhero movies instead. For there is more joie de vivre in the new three-minute trailer for The Lego Batman Movie than there was in the entirety of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – and I’m including the extended edition in that equation. Here are five takeaways from our latest look at the tiny, plastic plaything who’s fast making Batfleck look like yesterday’s dark knight. This caped crusader has had a personality upgrade The Batman we met in The Lego Movie aways seemed an unlikely candidate for his own solo film, a pompous jerk who was more Flash Thompson than Bruce Wayne. But this time around, despite his vast wealth and playboy lifestyle, our Will Arnett-voiced caped crusader is being painted as a far more sympathetic superhero.
It appears a life lived all alone in one’s echoing mansion, eating cordon bleu TV dinners and trying to get all your gadgets to sync properly is a rather lonely one. Hence, The Lego Movie looks like it will focus on Batman’s transition from solo operator to leader of an extended family of masked vigilantes, with Robin and Batgirl also pulling on their costumes for the first time. Yes, it’s the plot of Batman & Robin all over again, but without the Batnipples and painful script. Some serious synopsizing of typical Batman mythos has gone down Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, AKA Oracle, has been through almost as many alternate versions as the dark knight himself over the years. The Lego Batman Movie pitches a new iteration of the superhero who is both Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon, the role usually played by her father James. (The 2007 comic Batman #666, which imagined a future dystopian Gotham, pulled the same trick.)Gordon appears to be set on dropping the Gotham City police department’s traditional public opposition to Batman’s activities in favour of working alongside the dark knight.
Has she got the hots for the caped crusader? At least, this being a kids’ movie, we can guarantee they’re not about to go all Killing Joke on us. Michael Cera’s Robin is an eye-poppingly irritating riff on the boy wonder’s reviled status Given Cera often pops up on mean lists of actors who Hollywood forgot about, you might think he’s being rather brave taking on the role that killed Chris O’Donnell’s career. But rather than trying to rehabilitate Robin – a character who comic book fans famously once voted should be killed off – The Lego Batman Movie seems more than happy for us to carry on hating him. This particular boy wonder, resembling the Carrie Kelley version from The Dark Knight Returns, is an eye-poppingly irritating creation whose sole purpose seems to be to wind Batman up with his perky overenthusiasm and skimpy outfits. The new Joker is a lovesick puppy From The Killing Joke to The Dark Knight, Batman stories have often hinted at the symbiotic connection between the caped crusader and his green-haired nemesis – remember Heath Ledger’s spiky nod to Jerry Maguire?
But The Lego Batman Movie seems to be taking the twisted love-hate thing to a whole new level. Informed that Superman is the dark knight’s true enemy – a neat Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reference – the villain finds himself unexpectedly reduced to tears, his cackling exterior ripped away to reveal the soggy little puppy dog beneath. Might Batman come to regret such coarse and casual contempt further down the line? It doesn’t matter that this is the second Batman film in as many years If this new trailer shows us anything, it’s that the world needs a little more meta-fuelled superhero satire. And with more than half a century of movies, comic books and TV shows to riff on, Batman seems to be the perfect target. Warner Bros might be responsible for having turned the caped crusader into a gun-toting, knuckle-headed bore, but at least the studio knows how to have a joke at its own expense. If Chris McKay’s film registers with audiences on the level that The Lego Movie did, one imagines they’ll be laughing all the way to the Gotham National Bank.
The Lego Batman Movie works precisely because it knows audiences are sick of its hero. It's a reassessment, an intervention, an effort to try and remember what's fun about him. February 15, 2017 | The sequel of sorts... is not quite as good, but at its best, it has the same whiplash wit and inspired freneticism. February 10, 2017 | The thing about a sequel or a spinoff, even a mostly fun one like The LEGO Batman Movie, is that it's hard to recreate enthusiasm and inventiveness. What was once new is now, already, routine. Overall, The Lego Batman Movie offers enough action and silliness to enthrall children while providing sufficient pop culture and Batman-through-the-years references to keep adults entertained. Basically, it's a standard-issue Batman narrative - arguably better than 50 per cent of history's other Batman films - that just happens to take place in a Lego-fied world. It's the Bat-spoof we didn't know we needed and it gives Batman a chance to loosen up.
Guillermo del Toro and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a creative match made in horror heaven. The pairing is so perfect, in fact, that it’s hardly disappointing that the director isn’t returning to helm Pacific Rim 2. And just when you thought del Toro’s Scary Stories adaptation couldn’t get any more exciting, here come the writers of The LEGO Movie to make this one of your most anticipated films of…well, ever. Variety reports that Dan and Kevin Hageman have signed on to script Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for CBS Films. A previous draft was written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the team behind The Collector and the last four films in the Saw franchise. In addition to scripting Scary Stories, the Hageman brothers are also penning the script for LEGO’s Ninjago movie. Del Toro’s film is based on Alvin Schwartz’s classic anthology trilogy, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which debuted in 1981, followed by More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in 1984 and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones in 1991.