Playing Batman instantly makes you a hero to the legions and legions of fans of the Caped Crusader across the world. But since Will Arnett was only providing the voice of Lego Batman, it was hard to tell whether fans would put him in the same league as Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christin Bale and Ben Affleck.
There’s no uncertainty anymore. Because after The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, The Lego Movie 2 proves that Will Arnett’s Lego Batman is as legitimate as any other version that has been created. And no-one is more surprised at this success than Will Arnett himself.
Will Arnett talks us through his Lego Batman journey
“It’s really absurd,” he tells Metro. “I was telling someone earlier today that 10 years ago had you earnestly said I was going to be a a part of a Batman conversation, I would have said, ‘You are out of your mind!’ But now it’s become so much of my life.”
Arnett believes that in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego Batman has well and truly broken free of previous versions, and instead of being a pastiche is now his own fully fledged character.
“Even after the first one it felt like kind of a fun exercise. Then once we started making Lego Batman I really started to get more into it, digging deeper into what makes Batman tick. Then taking that and coming into this third film, I really felt quite free and understanding.”
“I felt like I was less and less at the mercy of other information about Batman and more in the driver’s seat of my own version. Honestly man, the thrill hasn’t worn off yet. I really enjoy being there and being apart of it.”
Arnett puts the success of Lego Batman down to The Lego Movie 2’s producers and writers Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, who also wrote and directed the original and produced the Batman spin-off.
“They really do a great job of modernizing or updating how we perceive a lot of these iconic characters,” he insists. “They’ve sort of caught them up to where we have shifted culturally as people.”
But how would Arnett describe his take on Batman?
“It’s difficult to articulate because we’ve always known Batman. He is a character that’s been around for a long time and who he is and the rules of who he is and his role are very well established. But what was really fun for me was to start to play with those rules and to change those rules a little bit. Now I feel like he’s always evolving. I think of him as kind of a child who is experiencing things in the real world for the first time. That’s really been fun for me.”
“I try to never wink or tip to the audience as to what I’m doing. He very much believes in who he is and where he comes from. So now when things come into his orbit, he struggles with these things, he’s very much like an adolescent. They often say that people who don’t develop emotionally after a big traumatic event. Don’t forget his parents were murdered in front of him as a child. So I like to think he’s finally coming out of his shell now and into the light and that’s really fun.”
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is in theaters on February 8.