Brick by brick, LEGO DC: Batman: Family Matters held its world premiere at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
Feeling that running a company gets in the way of his true passion, fighting crime, Bruce Wayne (Troy Baker) sells Wayne Enterprises so he can focus on being Batman full-time. This decision comes at the most inopportune time, as Red Hood (Jason Spisak) and Two-Face (Christian Lanz) launch a dastardly plot, which forces Bruce to realize that his outward persona is just as important to the survival of Gotham as Batman is. To make things even more complicated, you've got a HAL 9000-esque AI named "Brother Eye" (voiced by Cam Clarke) that runs nearly all of the machines and computers in Gotham.
“The way that we sort of took Batman to task in a way you wouldn’t normally do," said producer Rick Morales during the Q&A portion following the premiere. "Maybe sometimes he’s got something to learn ... We hadn’t really done anything with the Bat Family. It seemed like a good way to appeal to kids and their families."
The film also sets up young Billy Batson (Zach Callison) as Shazam!
"It’s a good teaser for where the universe can go," said screenwriter Jeremy Adams, heavily hinting at a LEGO Shazam! movie. Indeed, the post-credits scene where Billy is summoned by the wizard for his worthiness is very similar to David F. Sandberg's live-action movie from April. We've already said too much, though!
“We thought about how we could do Red Hood with LEGO," continued Adams, referring to the dark nature of the character in the comics.
“We had to figure out a way to make that work,"added Morales. "Jeremy came up with a pretty good way of keeping it fun and light."
Touching on his performance as Red Hood, Spisak talked about the freedom that the LEGO universe brings for a villainous role.
“In the LEGO movie, you also get to explore the funny side of the villain," he said. "You’re doing it in a funny, fun way … It’s kind of nice to play someone who’s bad and funny at the same time."
Baker revealed that his take on Bruce Wayne / Batman is a tribute to almost all of the Caped Crusader actors who have come before him.
"There’s always gonna be an homage to the late, great Adam West," he explained. "It’s impossible for me not to feel like, look like, desperately wish I could sound like Kevin Conroy … [There's also] a little bit of Keaton, a little bit of Bale—no George Clooney ... All I wanna do is [voice] a Batman that makes you wanna read the comics."
LEGO DC: Batman: Family Matters arrives on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD Tuesday, August 6. The feature co-stars the voices of Tara Strong (Batwoman), Tom Kenny (Commissioner Gordon/Penguin), Scott Menville (Robin), André Sogliuzzo (Riddler), Steve Blum (Scarecrow), Alyson Stoner (Batgirl), Nolan North (Alfred/Killer Croc), and Will Friedle (Nightwing).
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