New details have reportedly been revealed regarding an animated Batman Beyond movie that was commissioned at DC and Warner Bros.
Back in the '90s, DC created Batman Beyond for Cartoon Network as a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series that starred an older Bruce Wayne as he trained the teenage Terry McGinnis to take over his former mantle in a futuristic Gotham City.
Years later, when Michael Keaton was once poised to replace Ben Affleck as the DCU's Batman after The Flash, Warner Bros. was developing a live-action Batman Beyond flick starring the 71-year-old actor that has since been canceled.
DC Developed Batman-Led Answer to Marvel's Spider-Verse
Speaking on The Hot Mic Podcast, insider Jeff Sneider discussed an animated Batman Beyond movie that DC once commissioned under the leadership of Walter Hamada - who served as DC Films President from January 2018 to October 2022.
As of now, the project remains in development under DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran and none of the team has been told otherwise. However, Sneider clarified development could still be paused or canceled if it doesn't fit into the new regime's cohesive plans for the DCU franchise.
Fast & Furious 9 writer Daniel Casey has written multiple drafts of the Batman Beyond movie which was intended as DC's answer to Sony and Marvel's Into the Spider-Verse franchise - which has proven to be a critical and financial hit.
The GWW initially revealed the project to be in development in January 2019, although Sneider's scoop offered the first confirmation of Casey's involvement and that the animated movie currently remains in development, four years later.
The animated project was said to be separate from the live-action Batman Beyond movie written by Christina Hodson that was planned to star Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne but was later canceled by Gunn and Safran.
Sneider's report has not been confirmed by DC Studios or Warner Bros. Discovery.
Will Batman Beyond Movie Survive James Gunn's DC Cancelations?
Since James Gunn and Peter Safran took over DC Studios, the pair have truly taken an axe to DC's arsenal of projects that were in development. This has included canceling movies and putting an end to shows that were in the works under the old regime and don't fit with their vision of the DCU.
That being said, DC Studios will still be pushing ahead with an "Elseworlds" umbrella for projects that they want to make but don't fit into their DCU plan. As of now, DC Studios has only confirmed three "Elseworlds" projects, although there will likely be far more to emerge down the line.
Gunn already made it clear that for an "Elseworlds" project to be developed, the quality bar will "be higher than the bar for something in the DCU:"
“The bar for an Elseworlds tale is going to be higher than the bar for something in the DCU. Not that we’re not always going to have a higher bar, but it’s got to be something extraordinary for us to tell that story outside our regular continuity and to spend the money on it to make it.”
So, in order for Batman Beyond to stand a chance, despite the fact it probably doesn't fit into Gunn's DCU plans, Daniel Casey's script will have to be truly spectacular. Although the fact the movie doesn't seem to have been canceled yet after four months of Gunn's leadership offers a glimmer of hope.
Sony and Marvel have found great success both critically and financially with the Spider-Verse franchise. Walter Hamada's DC clearly had aspirations to replicate that success by similarly having an older take on a famous hero mentor his younger successor in animation.
Only time will tell whether Gunn and Safran see that vision too, but how well Across the Spider-Verse performs for Sony may be a factor. But ultimately the decision will probably come down to whether the script is strong enough to justify investing in it as one of the few "Elseworlds" projects, as setting a far-future story in the main DCU would only serve to limit what Gunn can do with Batman.
DC has yet to officially announce any plans for Batman Beyond.