I can remember the days before the Internet, when the rumor mill was a Mom & Pop affair. When magazines and certain dailies were responsible for all our entertainment news, and sources tended to confirm things before they were reported. Of course, that meant not as many people were able to get rabid over ridiculously exciting rumors like this one: the eventual Batman reboot/megaprequelsequel could be a Batman Beyond movie, based on the stellar animated series that ran on the WB (now CW) from 1999-2001. This isn’t exactly the most expected or likely direction that Warner Bros. might take the Dark Knight’s legacy, but it would be pretty remarkable.
I’m not knocking this website or anything, but Batman on Film is the source of this news, claiming they’ve “heard some whispers” that the adaptation is “on the table.” This probably means that either the editor was listening to the whispers of a few Batman Beyond fans discussing how cool a movie would be, or Warner is actually taking into account every single Batman project that’s ever existed before deciding where to go with the franchise.
Many fans think it would be stupid to go the reboot route after all the work Christopher Nolan put into his masterful Dark Knight Trilogy, and it’s perfectly plausible for Warner to spin something off in the same universe without barking up the Wayne murders’ origin tree story again.
Batman Beyond would actually be a perfect fit, since it takes place in the future, as Bruce Wayne passes on the mantle (or cowl, in this case) to the teenage Terry McGinnis, who becomes Wayne’s protege in the fight against evil in Neo-Gotham. It even has an origin tale embedded into it, so they wouldn’t have to worry about audience confusion.
Even though many of the villains introduced in the cartoon’s 2039 timeframe are newbies (like Mad Stan and Spellbinder), it also presented updated versions of old foes like Mr. Freeze and Ra’s al Ghul. You want the Joker? He got his own movie, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and it’s one of the best animated superhero flicks you’ll find.
The series obviously still matters to people. Adam Beechen and Norm Breyfogle’s recent work on the digital comic Batman Beyond Unlimited was collected into graphic novel form recently as Batman Beyond: 10,000 Clowns, and next month, the title will be rebranded as Batman Beyond Universe, which will see a new creative team take on each title. And if you think Batman of Tomorrow is limited just to that series, DC announced last month that they’re going forward with Justice League: 3000, which will put our favorite DC heroes 1,000 years in the future.
There is a damned good movie to be found, even if it would tragically mean the amazing Kevin Conroy couldn’t be the voice of Batman. But again, this is just a silly rumor. Bat-sigh.
Batman Beyond is currently available streaming on Netflix Instant. Is your day not complete without 10 hours of the Batman Beyond theme song? Complete your day with the video below.