When Michael Keaton was announced to be returning as the Dark Knight for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns in The Flash, speculation instantly kicked up a notch or ten that it could finally lead to a live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond. After all, the 69 year-old actor is the ideal age to play a retired Bruce Wayne, who takes young Terry McGinnis under his wing and provides him with the technology and training to become the new Caped Crusader.
We also know that Warner Bros. have no issues with having multiple Batman franchises existing simultaneously, with DC Films president Walter Hamada confirming that was set to be the plan moving forward, so there are already several pivotal pieces in place. At least there were, until Keaton recently cast doubt on his involvement in The Flash, which would present a pretty big obstacle for any projected Batman Beyond movie to overcome.
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In any case, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Affleck would be suiting up for the Scarlet Speedster’s solo debut long before it was confirmed – that Batman Beyond is being developed internally as a cross between a standard Bat-blockbuster and the neon-soaked visuals and dystopian stylings of Blade Runner, which is both a fascinating and hugely exciting combination.
According to our intel, the studio are even considering Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve to helm Batman Beyond, and not only is he well-versed in creating eye-popping futuristic cityscapes, but he’s clearly a favorite of WB having steered acclaimed atmospheric thriller Prisoners to critical and commercial success in 2013 before being handed $165 million to deliver Dune, which has already been inviting comparisons to Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.