The LEGO Batman Movie: director Chris McKay talks Gotham’s tiniest

lego batman

by Emma Thrower |
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“Just the idea of Batman is absurd. A guy who learns karate and dresses up at night to beat people up is ridiculous.” Luckily, this is no bad thing for The LEGO Batman Movie’s director, Chris McKay (best known for Robot Chicken), who went on to tell us in the new issue of Empire how LEGO Bats’ (voiced by Will Arnett, who only works in black. And sometimes very, very, dark grey, lest we forget) first solo outing “affectionately comment[s] on all that”.

February next year will mark the ninth solo Batman film. But, as you can imagine after Phil Lord and Chris Miller's The LEGO Movie, this incarnation will have its tongue placed very firmly in its cheek. But hardcore DC fans shouldn’t fret: McKay’s film doesn’t mess too much with the caped crusader’s formula, making sure Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), Robin (Michael Cera) and The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) are still very much in the frame.

“Ralph committed fully to LEGO Alfred,” McKay told Empire. “He told me he was inspired by [1935 high-society comedy] Ruggles Of Red Gap. It was amazing seeing him in the booth doing all this space work.” And what of Galifianakis’ Joker, the second (after Suicide Squad's Jared Leto) in as many years? “I wish I had a story about Zach sending us dead rats,” laments McKay, “but he’s an incredible Joker. I’ve listened to him riff with Will for hours”.

There’s also a new spin on the Boy Wonder. “Bruce accidentally adopts him at a party,” the director tells us of the movie’s main duo. “Robin is a Book Of Mormon-esque character, the ray of light to Batman’s brooding, Lord Byronic hero. It’s their dynamic that carries the movie, these polar opposites going head to head.” Colour us (well, ‘black and dark grey’ us) very, very excited.

For more on The LEGO Batman Movie, and much, much more besides, be sure to pick up a copy of our brand new issue, available in all good and evil newsagents this Thursday 25 August. Or you can subscribe to Empire right here{ =nofollow}.

The LEGO Batman Movie swoops into cinemas on 10 February, 2017.

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