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Will Arnett Didn't Get To Keep His LEGO Batman From 'The LEGO Movie'

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WILL ARNETT
Will Arnett attends the premiere of 'The LEGO Movie' at Regency Village Theatre on February 1, 2014 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) | Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Now that everyone in America has see "Frozen" more than once, the next must-see animated blockbuster, "The LEGO Movie," is ready to arrive in theaters.

"It's a movie meant for everybody. It really is just fun for adults and children," Will Arnett, who voices LEGO Batman in the film, told HuffPost Entertainment. "I'm so happy and impressed that we were able to make a movie that can appeal to so many. A pan-generational film."

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("21 Jump Street," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"), "The LEGO Movie" is more than just product placement (though there's plenty of that as well). It's a funny, witty romp about imagination and individuality in a world where both seem in short supply, featuring a voice cast of comedy all-stars that includes Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Will Ferrell and Arnett. HuffPost Entertainment spoke to Arnett about the new film, his affection for LEGOs in general and what he thought about the response to Season 4 of "Arrested Development."

You've worked on so many animated projects. When did you realize voice over was a talent you possessed?
When I first started really using my voice, which was for voice overs, I was dumb enough that I didn't realize it was something you could do. When someone said to me that it was, my answer was, "What are you talking about?" It was like a whole other world opened up. It quickly became something I was good at. I did that for many years. The world of animation and voicing characters, that's been something that's really cool and that I really like. I really like doing it because you can change things. I can't change the way that I look. There's only so much you can do. A lot of actors, Christian Bale and a lot of other actors do that, but it's a whole process. I can quickly change my voice and become another person more easily.

You mentioned Bale, who now has the most famous Batman voice. How did you decide on your version's sound?
It was what would make Chris Miller, Phil Lord and I laugh. Starting with Adam West and through Christian Bale, it feels like the voice of Batman has gotten more and more serious and dark. You know how Christian Bale talks like this. In a low tone. They had to amplify his voice, I guess, because it was very low and soft. So I wanted to take that and just have Batman talk in that voice all the time. Especially for super mundane stuff. "I have to get out of here because I have an appointment." That is hysterical.

How much of a LEGO fan were you growing up?
I played with LEGO by far more than any other toy. I have a brother almost 10 years my junior, and I introduced him to LEGO when I was probably far too old to be playing with them. I did that, basically, as a cover for my own continuing interest in building LEGO. Now I've been able to get back into it because I have two young sons. It's such a huge part of my day. In fact, I have a few LEGO figurines, including a Batman LEGO that they gave me. We had it as part of the promotion. I had this weird thing where my son was like, "There's my LEGO Batman." I said, "Actually it's mine, I need to take it to the junket." My son looked at me like, "Nope. That's mine." Like, "Don't be insane, dad. You're a grown-up and that's my LEGO." He wins. He was right. I said, "All right, here, you take it."

You've got a pretty stable gig on the CBS series "The Millers," does that kind of job afford you the chance to take more creative risks as an actor going forward?
It's interesting that you say that. That is kind of the stuff that I'm looking at now. In the last year, I've been part of a lot of films that also aim for a wider audience: "LEGO," "The Nut Job" and "Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles," coming out this summer. But a lot of what I do these days is for my kids. It's about affording me the opportunity to spend time with my kids, or something my kids would want to see. I'm thinking about doing stuff now that will [be different]. I'll have the luxury.

What do you want to see from the fifth season of "Arrested Development"?
I think I would want to see what everybody else wants to see. By everybody else, I mean the fans, who are in a lot of ways, weirdly, part of the process of "Arrested Development" now. It was their desire to see more that brought it back. I also mean everybody who is on our side, the creative side, from Mitch through the cast. The next version is going to have all of us together much more. I know there was a lot written about us being not together because of schedules and because of whatever. Also, I think some of the way Mitch told that last story -- I don't think anybody has made anything like that before. This anthology, if you will. I found it to be very interesting. He's telling this story and I think it was very cool. Having said that, it will be nice to get the gang back together.

Did it feel like you guys were caught between a rock and a hard place, where if you just repeated the first three seasons, people would be disappointed, yet if you tried something new, like it was, people are also unhappy?
Absolutely. 100 percent. We were damned if we did and damned if we didn't. Unfortunately, we live in a world where not only does everyone have to have an opinion, but it tends resonate more if the opinion is shitty and mean. So unless you're saying something really shitty about something, you're not going to get heard. There were a lot of great reviews that really liked the show and thought it was really interesting. The stuff that kind of got through was negative: "'Arrested,' Not What It Was." That was inevitable! People trip over themselves to be the first to say the shit thing. They go out of their way. That, by way, cuts across everything. "Arrested Development" is not the only example of that. Everybody is susceptible to that. Not like I need to make some huge social commentary, but it's absolutely true. People can't wait -- whether it's Twitter or Facebook -- people can't wait to say something shitty.

You have a pretty visible social media presence. How do you deal with it there?
What ends up happening is that you have to keep everything on this frequency where you're like, "Whatever." That's really everything. It's a bummer. On the plus side of that, though, is the people who do like the show. Not to say people can't think whatever they want, but "Arrested Development really was a show that was brought back by the desire of fans to see more. I think that we do, in a lot of ways, hear what the fans say about the show. We kind of weirdly always have. We don't want to keep doing the show if we feel like overstaying our welcome. We don't want to ruin anyone's experience.

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