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A Batman Beyond animated film could be DC's answer to Marvel's Spider-verse, if only they would greenlight it

A social media campaign reminds us of how well the concept could work.

Batman Beyond Screenshot
Image credit: Warner Bros. Television Animation

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In the dark future of Neo-Gotham, a new hero is needed to take on a new generation of crime. The result is a new Batman for a drastically different world in Batman Beyond, one of the most interesting entries in the excellent DC Animated Universe that ran from Batman: The Animated Series through to Justice League Unlimited. It was dark and brooding yet playful and vibrant, telling the story of a young hero trying to grow into his own in the impossibly large shadow of his predecessor.

The series has come back into the public eye thanks to a series of posts by Yuhki Demers about the Batman Beyond animated film that they pitched alongside writer and director Patrick Harpin. In the posts, Demers explains that the pair pitched their complete film outline to WB and DC and were enough to sway them from a deafening “There is absolutely no way we can do a Batman Beyond movie” to a slightly more encouraging “maybe.” Which is an improvement but probably not what Demers and Harpin were looking for.

As soon as we saw the posts and the concept art that was included in them, it got us thinking not only about how much we wanted to see Terry McGinnis in action again but also about how perfect the timing would be. Batman Beyond would be WB’s perfect answer to the huge success that Sony and Marvel have had with the Spider-Verse films, giving us an ultra-stylized feature film that could only be told through the medium of animation.

Terry’s and Miles’ stories have plenty of thematic similarities, showing a teenage hero struggling to be their own person while carrying the mantle of one of the most loved superheroes of all time, but what makes the prospect of a Batman Beyond animated film so exciting is the visual potential. Neo-Gotham has always had a wonderful contrast between darkness and vibrant colors, leaning into its cyberpunk influences so hard that we expect a Blade Runner reference in every episode.

The concept art posted by Demers, who was a production designer and producer for both Spider-Verse movies, shows how visually distinct the setting is. Neon lights silhouette flying cars and dark alleyways. Bastions of corporate power tower over Gotham’s streets and provide the series’ biggest villains the perfect place to consolidate their power. There is the chance to tell a unique story in a setting that DC has done frightfully little with over the years, and we desperately want to see it happen.

Despite all the reasons the movie could work, we’re trying to manage our expectations for a Batman Beyond movie. Even with a social media campaign started by the people who pitched it, DC’s films are in such a state of flux that it feels like everything is on hold until Superman: Legacy comes out in 2025. However, Sony’s Spider-Verse movies show that there is an appetite for this kind of hero in a world that is visually distinct from the rest of the DC universe. The audience for a Batman Beyond animated movie is there – they just need to give it to us.


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Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon

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Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)
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