For its time, Batman Beyond was a bit of a radical concept. It was one of the first times in the history of the Batman universe that things were upended in a profound departure from what had come before. It saw the man himself, Bruce Wayne, retire from being the Caped Crusader after he almost had to use a gun to save someone. When Wayne decided he would never again put on the cape and cowl, it filled much of the audience with dread. How would this new series approach a Bruce Wayne-less Batman? The question would be answered by 16-year-old Terry McGinnis, who would lose his father just as Wayne lost both of his parents. This would lead him down the path to becoming Batman.
This is a concept that would work great on film, especially since the Batman film franchise has struggled to find its footing since Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale departed from that world. One way they could move forward in is by going to the future. It would take much of the effort that brought Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 to bring this future to life. Much of the Batman Beyond future is based on those two films and follows much of the same spectrum as them. It would only make sense that the film also takes inspiration from them.
It could be as simple as seeing a futuristic large display alarm clock. Much of the technology and architecture would need to be developed, so to fit a futuristic world. For the Bat suit, there would need to be a higher tech and futuristic approach to it. It would need to resemble how it was designed in the animated series and comic books, where it has a lot more technology built into it than it simply being leather, rubber, or something akin to that. The reason for that is because Gotham City has not become kinder and gentler.
Instead, it’s become rougher and more divided. The wealthier Gothamites live at the top while the not so fortunate live at the bottom. There’s a divide that was not seen in the days of Bruce Wayne or when there was a regular large display alarm clock. For Wayne, you could easily get one of the old Batmen such as Michael Keaton to return as the character. That would be an easy choice. Another path you could explore is casting Clint Eastwood as Wayne. He’s in great health and just gave a phenomenal performance in The Mule, which he also directed. He would be perfect to bring this older Wayne to life and perhaps direct it too.
The question of who would play McGinnis is a bit of a more difficult one to ponder. There are a number of young actors out there and there’s no saying you have to keep him at age 16. There are names like Zac Efron that seem natural choices to younger actors like Dylan O’Brien who could portray the character well. With so many choices, it would be tough to nail down just who is perfect for the role, which is why there would have to be a good deal of search for the character.
For other roles such as Dana Tan, Matt McGinnis, and Mary McGinnis, you can fill these with any number of great actors out there. Like McGinnis, both Dana Tan and Matt McGinnis would need younger actors. While Lucy Liu comes to mind for Dana, it’s unlikely she would fit the role at 50-years-old, so you would have to cast someone younger. If Terry was closer to his 30s, you could get away with having a somewhat older Matt too. For Mary McGinnis, you could go with someone like Julia Roberts. There are many female actresses out there, who could pull that role off successfully.
For a director and writing team, I would look toward the aforementioned Eastwood or even bringing back Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan. In a perfect world, perhaps, they work together. It would certainly be a coup if that could happen. In the end, one can only dream that such a film would be made. One day, perhaps, such a dream may become a reality.
The World of Batman Beyond
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