'Batman Beyond' fans deserve a sequel for the hit animated show's unique storyline and futuristic characters
When 'Batman Beyond' started airing in 1999, it was one of the most unique animated shows of its time. The futuristic setting of the series quickly became popular with Batman fans and its darker story elements set it apart from other superhero shows that often tried to keep things light in order to appeal to a young audience.
'Batman Beyond' follows a new, teenage Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an older, retired Bruce Wayne. The animated television series was developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett and produced by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics.
"Even though we were asked to do a show that skewed younger, we ended up telling more mature stories that were more violent," said series writer Bob Goodman during the show’s 20th-anniversary reunion panel at the San Diego Comic-Con 2019. "So we took what we were supposed to do and subverted it. It was unique to do a show with two Batmans and explore the contrast between them."
In the Gotham of the series set 50 years in the future, Bruce Wayne has given up crime-fighting. But the new Gotham needs a protector just as badly as its predecessor in our times so the mantle of Batman falls to high-school student Terry McGinnis.
Fans have been clamoring for a sequel series or feature film ever since the show ended after just three seasons. Rumors of a sequel have cropped up every few years, speculating about the possibility of projects like a fourth season, a live-action movie starring Michael Keaton, and a fully-animated feature film; though none of those reported projects have actually taken off or been confirmed so far.
When DC teased that a big announcement would be made during the show's reunion panel at SDCC 2019, hopes of a sequel were reignited. However, those hopes were somewhat dimmed when it was revealed that the "big announcement" was actually the release of a remastered Blu-ray version of the show.
While a Blu-ray release is a welcome announcement, 'Batman Beyond' is a show that really does deserve a sequel of some sort. Not only was the series extremely popular, but it also reinvented classic Batman villains in creative ways.
The show's innovative storytelling, well-thought-out scripts, and complex character development are all factors that proved just how ahead of its time the series was and contributed to 'Batman Beyond' achieving a near-cult status. If nothing else, just the commercial possibilities of a revival should motivate DC to consider a sequel.
Thankfully, the creators of the show have hinted that a sequel movie or series may be considered if the Blu-ray release sells well. Here's hoping those promises don't go unfulfilled because 'Batman Beyond' truly does deserve better.