1. It’ll Bring Something to the Big Screen We Haven’t Seen
We’ve seen Bruce Wayne’s story. It’s been done. Unfortunately, as long as that dead horse keeps spitting out money Warner Brothers will keep beating it forever. Which is sad. Batman is such an icon and he deserves so much better than that. Now we’re looking forward to Zack Snyder’s magnum opus Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice which honestly I’m predicting will be awful. After that we’ll have the untitled Justice League movie and if rumor has it by 2019 we’ll have Affleck in a standalone flick called The Batman – keep in mind by that time Affleck will be almost 50 years old – awesome. What else is there to tell in this story? Are they going to go against canon and retcon everything? We’ve seen Bruce’s parents shot dead outside the opera, we’ve seen the gloom, we’ve seen the darkness, we’ve seen the relationship with Alfred, we’ve seen Bruce rise, and fall, and rise again against the most iconic of icons. But it’s been done. Let’s give Bruce a break, shall we?
2. We Get A New Origin Story
Here’s a quick two-part intro to us losing Bruce Wayne as Batman. Watch. Please.
That’s some deep stuff right there. Batman picked up a gun. Let me repeat that. Batman. Picked. Up. A. Gun! This is something I would love to see on the big screen. We get to finally watch the fall of Bruce Wayne. Where no villain could break him, not the Joker, not Bane, not anyone – Bruce picked himself up and kept going for the betterment of Gotham – but he still fell to the ticking clock. His age had become his greatest villain. And this one finally defeated him.
Enter Terry McGinnis – someone young, brash, and impetuous – a perfect protagonist for the millennial generation. Granted, Batman Beyond isn’t set in stone and I’m sure the next Christopher Nolan will take plenty of liberties for the sake of the next great trilogy (it’s definitely going to be a trilogy, let’s be honest with ourselves). There are plenty of new villains to battle, from the Jokerz (a street gang that’s fallen far from when the Joker was in charge), to a plethora of others. Hell, the show even brought back Ra’s al Ghul, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze (who was frozen the whole time!), and the Joker himself.
There’s a lot of wiggle room here. That opening scene with Bruce and the gun takes place in 2019 with Bruce probably in his 60s or so and then we get Terry in 2039 as a 17-year old high school student – but you could alter that to get certain actors / actresses. For instance, Terry could be a student at Gotham University rather than a high school student. And maybe while he’s there he discovers the son or grandson of Dr. Jonathan Crane is working in the chemistry lab to follow in the Scarecrow’s footsteps. The possibilities are endless. Plus you could work in Barbara Gordon (daughter of You-Guessed-It but now she’s commissioner of Gotham P.D.) who was actually in the animated series.
3. The CGI and new Technology Available Would Make Everyone Happy
The Batjet in Dark Knight Rises was stupid. There. I said it. In 2012 some of the things they try to pass off as possible just don’t cut it. But in 2039 we get a whole mess of new toys to play with. The cellphone sonar thing in the Dark Knight annoyed me way more than it probably should have and I still haven’t quite forgiven Nolan for it. Just think about all the great things they could add to the batsuit – camouflage, lasers, digital hacking whatever – he could be like his own R2 unit mixed with Iron Man’s suit but darker and grittier and it might actually make sense in 2039.
4. 2039’s Gotham Is Apparently Much More Diverse
Let’s look at the primary cast of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy – Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cillian Murphy, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway – awful lot of white people, eh? Good thing Morgan Freeman was in all three though, otherwise it might seem a tad racist. Also, there are only two primary female characters, Rachel (Holmes/Gyllenhaal) and Catwoman (Hathaway). Ok sure, Marion Cotillard was in Rises but she, like Catwoman, wasn’t a main fixture – Hardy’s Bane was the focal point. The point is the old Batman movies are predominantly white and male and that’s a shame for a comic book heritage as rich and deep as Batman’s.
Batman Beyond gives us Terry’s mom, Mary, a strong single-mother (Terry’s parents were divorced and his father is later murdered) raising two kids on her own; Maxine Gibson, one of Terry’s best friends and classmates who takes on the Alfred role (also she’s black); Barbara Gordon (former Batgirl) who I’ve already mentioned; Dana Tan, terry’s girlfriend (also she’s Asian); Inque, one of the coolest villains; Melanie Walker/Ten, a romantic interest of Terry’s and villainous member of the Royal Flush Gang; and a myriad of others.
5. Bruce Wayne is Dead – Long Live Bruce Wayne
Some say Bruce is too stubborn to die. And while we’ve had multiple iterations of the Flash and Green Lantern, most people feel there is only one true Batman. Hell, even the Joker yells at Terry, “You’re not Batman!” And maybe he’s right. Maybe Terry McGinnis isn’t what we need out of a Batman movie. Maybe we need to see Zack Snyder’s movie even though it is most likely doomed to fail. Maybe Hollywood will keep beating that dead horse until it stops spitting out money (will that ever happen?).
In the end there is, and always will be, only one Batman – Bruce Wayne. But when the man himself calls another person Batman then maybe, just maybe, we have something real.