Today, New York Comic Con held their LEGO DC Panel in which they gathered some of the crew to officially announce their newest LEGO Justice League movie, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash. It’s another long title that distinguishes itself from the other DC universe. It’s a mouthful, but I suppose it’s necessary as the LEGO brand has become its own beast.
In attendance, you would have found Troy Baker (voice of LEGO Batman), Phil LaMarr (voice of LEGO Brainiac, whom the Justice League faces in this new film), producer Brandon Vietti, director Rick Morales, and screenwriter Jim Krieg. Following introductions, the trailer was played.
Following the trailer, the panel’s moderator, DC All Access’s Tiffany Smith, asked about how the LEGO movies are mapped out in advance. Baker responded by laughing. Based on the panel’s answers, the stories are not planned out in advance, so much so that Krieg admitted that the writing process starts out with the team playing with the LEGO toys before putting a storyline together. Kreig did add the caveat that they do try to build the story on top of previous movies, but the focus was more so on adding characters and having fun.
Vietti informed her that the LEGO movies are pretty much their own universe, not based on any specific comic. However, Vietti admitted that the toys from Grant Morrison’s Return of Bruce Wayne were brought into the meeting for its time travel elements, which the newest flick incorporates.
When the Q&A portion arrived, an attendee inquired about Damian ever appearing in the LEGO universe, Vietti explains that the Robins don’t really have a specific identity. The design for Damian was used in creating their Robin, but they refer to Robin as simply “Robin.”
Baker, a prolific voice actor, was asked about which was his favorite voice, to which Baker replied,
“That’s a bit like asking ‘what’s your favorite breath? If you ask a drowning man, it’s the one he took right before he went under, and the one immediately after coming up. In an industry where 90% of your workforce is unemployed, any time somebody calls you and says, we want to give you money to do this, it’s your favorite.“
LaMarr followed up, saying that he doesn’t necessarily remember lines or characters, “it’s the job you enjoy.”
Finally, and likely my favorite comment of the panel, a fan went to the microphone to express his admiration of LaMarr and how he has played some of the more prominent African American superheroes, saying “As an African-American man growing up, there were not a lot of black heroes — and you voiced all of them.”
Humbled, LaMarr acknowledges the impact of Static Shock. “To have a generation growing up thinking, yeah, I could be that, it’s pretty cool.” Both Static and John Stewart remain some of my personal favorites as well.
Baker would eventually close out the panel, thanking the fans for their support. “This is art for us, but we can’t have that without you … thank you for being the fuel to our fire.”
LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash will be released to home media in early 2016.