It's been nearly 20 years since Batman Beyond ended its initial TV run, yet the show's influence and esteem remain as vital as ever. The futuristic animated series created by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett immediately captured imaginations with its tale of Batman's successor, and the show's hold on its fandom remains strong thanks to the continued presence of Terry McGinnis in the pages of DC Comics and, of course, the show's arrival on streaming via DC Universe and now HBO Max.
All that means that Batman Beyond is never far from the minds of fans, but it feels even more relevant lately thanks to the news that Michael Keaton, star of 1989's Batman, is set to play an older version of Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Flash movie. It's a casting decision that could pave the way for an elder Bruce to take on a mentorship role in future DC Films installments, and of course that possibility has fans buzzing about a potential live-action Batman Beyond film at last. It's even spurred fan art.
But with all that in mind, would a Batman Beyond blockbuster really work? SYFY WIRE reached out to Bruce Timm himself to see what he thought about the idea.
"It's obviously super gratifying that people are still such fans of that show, especially because it was almost 25 years ago now that we did that show," Timm said during an interview to promote his new film Batman: Soul of the Dragon. "It's crazy. We're almost halfway to the future. We're almost halfway to the time period it's supposed to take place in. It's super gratifying. Could it work in live action? Sure. Of course, it could. I think it's ready-made for it. I do think it would be a little on the higher end production-value-wise, because it would not be a cheap movie to make because it's set in the future. But I there's definitely some cinematic possibilities there, for sure."
Whether or not Warner Bros. will ever actually greenlight a live-action Batman Beyond project is still a matter of speculation, but while Timm and company have sinced moved on to other projects, the characters and world they created with the series have lived on. DC Comics has published six different volumes of Batman Beyond adventures, including some stories that integrate Terry McGinnis into the future of the mainstream DC Universe. The character's ongoing popularity, coupled with the return of Keaton, has certainly excited fans, and while Timm has his own idea of what an older Bruce Wayne might look like, he also admitted he finds the idea of Keaton playing the role to be intriguing.
"Honestly, I think the idea of Michael Keaton doing it is cool. Honestly, he looks a little too good," Timm said. "I know he's probably in his mid 60s now, but he looks pretty damn good for being over 60. I like my old Bruce Wayne to be like really old. But, who knows? It could certainly still work. He looks like he could kick most guys' asses."
Will we see Michael Keaton's older Bruce Wayne stepping up to mentor the next Batman? Time will tell, but it sounds like Timm would be as happy to see it as a lot of Batman Beyond fans.