Following in the footsteps of some giants of western animation, The Lego Movie and Lego Batman star Will Arnett has returned to the role -- flanked by Ralph Fiennes as his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth -- for a new public service announcement that brings fans information about the novel coronavirus pandemic and the spread of Covid-19. In the short, which you can see below via the Lego Group's Twitter page, Batman learns -- and is grossed out by -- details about the virus that has shut down much of the world, including most Hollywood productions, shortly after Lego relocated their feature film license from Warner Bros. to Universal, leaving the future of Lego Batman follow-ups up in the air.
Arnett debuted as the Dark Knight (made of blocks) in 2014's The Lego Movie and reprised the role in his own solo film, The Lego Batman Movie, in 2017. The latter would turn out to be somewhat prophetic for Batman's live-action future, with a person of color (Rosario Dawson) voicing the role of Barbara Gordon. Her father, James Gordon, will appear in Matt Reeves's forthcoming film The Batman, played by Jeffrey Wright of Westworld fame. Even more surprising, Lego Batman featured the first onscreen appearance of Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, a role she will reprise in The Batman.
You can check out the PSA below.
LEGO Batman has an important message for all you Batfans on how you too can be a super hero! 🌟— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) May 2, 2020
Thanks @arnettwill Ralph Fiennes and @pistudios for your support 🤗 #ConnectedTogether @DCBatman pic.twitter.com/iSOW94c2n7
For adults who have been paying attention to the news over the last two months, most of this information is not especially new, but it can be helpful as the pandemic stretches on and people have to explain to their kids why things aren't "back to normal" yet.
The Lego/Universal deal was inked late last year, just months after the release of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which brought in less than half the worldwide totals of the first film and was likely the final nail in the coffin of the franchise at Warner Bros. It's not unusual for major IPs like this to change hands after a disappointing box office return, but the speed of this turnaround, especially given the huge and fairly unexpected success of the first film, surprised most industry analysts.
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