The Most Exciting New Batman Movie Is Definitely Dead
Terry McGinnis, you will always be famous.
One of the best depictions of Batman ever doesn’t even put Bruce Wayne in the suit. Instead, in Batman Beyond, Wayne takes a backseat to mentor a new Batman, Terry McGinnis. The cyberpunk-meets-future-goth cartoon was a spinoff of Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, and might be one of the coolest visions of Batman ever (at least, it was to every 10-year-old who watched it on Kids WB in the early 2000s). Batman Beyond’s following only grew when its influence made its way to comics, establishing Terry McGinnis as the Batman of the distant future.
Its impact was so powerful that as soon as Ben Affleck debuted as an older Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there were rumors he could eventually end up anchoring a live-action Batman Beyond movie. Those rumors of a live-action Batman Beyond became a real possibility when The Flash cast Michael Keaton, reprising his role as the Batman from the 1989 and 1992 Tim Burton films. Now, it turns out that we almost could’ve had a Michael Keaton-led Batman Beyond — but there’s a catch.
According to Kevin Smith on his Fatman Beyond podcast, Keaton was due to star in a Batman Beyond movie after he reprised the role in The Flash, provided the latter was a box-office hit. Smith cited the son of longtime producer Michael Uslan, who has been attached to every big-screen Batman since 1989.
“Michael Uslan's kid said that ... if the movie did as well as The Batman — The Batman opened at $130 million — one of the next Batman movies they're going to make is Batman Beyond with Michael Keaton," Smith said (via CBR). "So I was like, 'Oh, my God, now I hope this movie makes a lot of money.”
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, since the movie stinks), The Flash bombed. This definitively means any hopes of a Batman Beyond live-action movie are dead. But realistically, this project has probably been dead since Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to reboot the DCEU. Before James Gunn and Peter Safran took over to wipe the slate clean with their new DC Universe, there were reports that The Flash would reboot the DCEU with Keaton as the new Batman in a Nick Fury-type capacity (including an allegedly scrapped cameo in Aquaman 2). That certainly sounds like it sets up a Batman Beyond movie. But that dream is long dead, especially since Warner probably lost any remaining goodwill that Keaton might have had with them with the abrupt scrapping of Batgirl.
At least we may still have the animated Batman Beyond movie.