Chris McKay, director of The LEGO Batman Movie, is working on completing the animated feature from Australia that has just released its third trailer. The long-time animator worked on The LEGO Movie as animation director, giving him a strong underpinning in the big screen LEGO world.
The movie maker spent time with Empire magazine explaining the process behind key parts of the trailer, dropping a few hints as to what the movie has in store for fans. Here are a few highlights:
“Zach Galifianakis is such a nice guy and brings such a sensitivity to Joker. He plays Joker as this very fragile, very vulnerable wounded bird, who Batman no longer sees as an equal in Gotham City. Batman has lots of enemies, he likes to fight around, so the Joker is hurt that he doesn’t have a label on this relationship.”
“There are Easter eggs throughout the movie. I’m a big fan of DVD/Blu-ray freeze-framing of things, so throughout the movie we’ve hidden all sorts of things for fans of Batman or DC Comics or Lego. There’s a deep-dive that you can do in the movie. If you look at the signage in downtown Gotham in the movie, there’s a lot of references for fans. People can go real deep.”
“We struggled to make a movie that felt like a Lego movie as well as a Batman movie, so we wanted things you’d see in a Batman movie like fog and the water. Obviously I worked with Chris [Miller] and Phil [Lord] on the first movie, and one of the nicest things people said is just how creative we were with using Lego as a medium, like a claymation animator would use clay. Batman is more like an opera, [so] I wanted to use some theatrical effects to sometimes make you forget you’re watching something in Lego and be surprised again. It’s a complicated dance, the way we use lighting and colour and shadows. I look at this as the moment colourful film noir movie you’ll ever see.”
It certainly sounds like a new take on the character of the Joker, a necessary one given the many incarnations that the character has had over the years. It’s also reassuring to hear that, like The LEGO Movie, there will be plenty of small visual references to look for, giving hardcore LEGO fans another level to enjoy the film on.