Batman Beyond is a straight-up killer idea. You take the best bits of the Dark Knight, combine them with a dab of Spider-Man, set it in the future and voila: awesomeness. But despite this, there’s been little movement on the franchise since the animated series ended in the early 2000s. Since then, the Batman Beyond concept has been revisited in comic books, but there’ve long been rumblings of a live-action adaptation of the franchise.
Now, courtesy of creator Paul Dini, we know that there was almost a Batman Beyond movie in the mid-2000s. Dini revealed how far along it was on the latest episode of Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast when he explained that he and Batman Beyond co-creator Alan Burnett were commissioned by Warner Bros. to pen a script for a full-on movie. They had Remember the Titans helmer Boaz Yakin in the director’s seat and the studio was even considering Clint Eastwood as the elderly Bruce Wayne.
Here’s how Dini described their take on it:
“It was set in Gotham’s future, but it didn’t quite have the fantastic, futuristic edge. It was sort of like an amalgam. There was a little bit of Dark Knight, there was a little bit of contemporary comics and there was Terry [McGinnis] and the suit and everything. It was old Bruce Wayne.”
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Sadly, Warner Bros. executives believed Dini and Burnett’s take was too adult and requested the script be made family-friendly. Yakin refused and that was that for Batman Beyond.
But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve heard reports that Warner Bros. are currently interested in a live-action adaptation of Return of the Joker, one of the best animated Batman movies. There’s even talk of Michael Keaton playing the elderly Wayne, which would fit neatly with his past in the cape and cowl.
Honestly, I hope this pans out, as the concept is rock solid and Terry McGinnis deserves his moment in the spotlight.