With comic-based movies dominating the box office, I often wonder what would make the next great live-action feature. It seems like most of the stories have been told more than once. I mean, how many times do we need to watch the Waynes get gunned down in a dark alley? Seriously. The only thing new is the gadgets, but how can you take an age old story, and revamp it for a modern audience. To answer this we will have to step back in time… To the future.
January 10, 1999. I had just turned 11 and was preparing to binge-watch cartoons for the rest of my Sunday evening, when I see it. A futuristic cyber-punk neo-noir entitled Batman Beyond. My fragile little mind could barely handle the excitement. Picture it: An aging Bruce Wayne sees no other option, but to hang up his cowl after breaking one of his biggest rules (no guns).
Spending the remainder of his years brooding with no company other than his loyal guard dog, Ace, he secludes himself in Wayne manor. Twenty years later, Bruce responds to an alarm to find Terry McGinnis, a 16-year-old all-star athlete, motorcycle enthusiast, and all-around cool guy. After helping Terry defeat the Jokerz gang, Terry helps Bruce inside, and stumbles across the Batcave. An enraged Bruce kicks Terry out, who then finds his father, victim to an assault by the Jokerz (who was really Mr. Fixx, bodyguard to Derek Powers, head honcho at Wayne-Powers). Convincing Bruce that Gotham needs Batman, Terry is hired as an assistant/chauffeur, and receives Bruce’s blessing as he takes the mantle of Batman.
This show was a fantastic addition to the franchise, with 52 episodes spanning over 3 seasons, and one direct-to-video movie release. That is more than enough to make an amazing trilogy, that could give a younger viewer a new chance to connect with a more relate-able character. Also, the timing is perfect. The series starts set in 2019, then cuts to 20 years later, 2039. Adding a new Sci-Fi aspect to a franchise that has always had a high-tech feel. From the Bane-based venom patches, to the rocket-thrusters, and retractable wings, this show had no shortage of cool, useful stuff. Finally, my favorite idea behind a live-action reboot of Batman Beyond. The reprisal of a former Bruce Wayne. Nothing speaks to the kid in me like seeing the man I always think of when someone says “Batman.” That is why Batman Beyond has my vote to be the next addition to the DCEU.