‘Batman Beyond’ Started With A “Terrible Idea”

by Chris Foti
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Article by Chris Foti

Not every TV Show, Comic Book, Movie, etc. starts with a good idea. Usually the creators need to brainstorm, and talk it out until one sticks. Then, from there, they can start to flesh it out and polish it up into what it ends up becoming. Such is the case with Batman Beyond.

In a roundtable with Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, James Tucker, Alan Burnett and others, Timm explained how the show began with a “terrible idea.”

The original premise for a follow up to Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures was to create a teenage Batman story. While The New Batman Adventures was already designed to be a little lighter and more kid friendly than its predecessor, WB wanted a younger audience than what they were getting.

“This was supposed to be a light show. Somehow, it didn’t quite get that light.” – Alan Burnett

“The discussions we had among ourselves were decidedly not kid-friendly” – James Tucker

Bruce Timm then had the idea of making Bruce Wayne too old to continue as Batman and having to recruit a younger hero. While this would keep the theme of a “teenage Batman,” Timm wasn’t fully on board with the idea at first. However, WB green lit the project and another Batman classic was born.

Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond

A Batman For the Future

Batman Beyond takes place about 20 years after Batman: TAS, when Bruce Wayne is too old to continue as Batman. A young high school teenager named Terry McGinnis accidentally stumbles upon the Batcave after helping an elderly Bruce fight off a gang, then steals the Batsuit for his own personal reasons. After a little persuading, Bruce convinces Terry to don the cowl on a more permanent basis, and become the new Batman.

The series lasted 3 seasons and had a direct to home release movie, Return of the Joker. The show is getting a Blu-ray release that will include either fully remastered or up-res versions of all 52 episodes, as well as a remaster of Return of the Joker. It will also come with a metallic Batman Beyond Funko Pop, art cards and bonus content.

It fascinates me how an idea can evolve ever so slightly. A teenage Batman show sounds like a terrible idea. But, alter that idea to a teenage Batman under the tutelage of an old Bruce Wayne, and you have another great series on your hands.

What are your thoughts of the original idea that sparked into Batman Beyond? Will you be picking up the Blu-ray box set? Let us know!

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