Warner Bros. is sitting on a goldmine with Batman Beyond. How can you fail with a story that takes the Dark Knight, mixes in a big dollop of Spider-Man and is set in a crazy futuristic Gotham City? As such, there’s constant gossip that some kind of Batman Beyond project is being worked on behind the scenes.
Back in 2019, we saw a number of leaked images that seemed to confirm that WB was developing an animated movie in answer to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But since then, things have been somewhat quiet. That project may not have gotten past the development stage, but sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us National Treasure 3 is in the works and Diana will get her golden eagle armor in Wonder Woman 1984, both of which are now confirmed – say that the studio is still planning a live-action Batman Beyond movie.
Details are pretty thin on the ground at the moment, but apparently, they’re eager to get Michael Keaton to play an older version of Bruce Wayne who’s retired the cape and cowl. Keaton would basically be perfect casting for the film, too, allowing audiences to immediately grasp the idea that he was once Batman, but now needs a protégé to take up the fight against crime.
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We’re also hearing though that the project may adapt Return of the Joker. For those unfamiliar, this was the show’s animated movie and probably the single best Batman Beyond story of all-time. For most episodes, hero Terry McGinnis has his own rogues gallery to contend with. But in this, the long-dead Joker returns to life in an incredibly disturbing manner. Even better, the animated film contains flashbacks to a younger Batman, so perhaps there’s a sliver of a chance we’d see a de-aged Keaton Batman’s final adventures. Plus, adapting this would certainly fit with Warner Bros.’ current bout of Joker fever.
Whatever the case, whether this happens or not, I’d highly advise you check out Return of the Joker. It’s one of the best Batman films around. Just make sure you get the uncut version to get the full shocking experience.