Now, over the years, there have been a whole lot of Batman-related projects that didn't ever manage to see the light of day. From Batman DarKnight, via Batman Unchained/Batman Triumphant, all the way through to the long-considered Batman: Year One, there have been a whole lot of potential Bat-movies that never made it into production.
For many bat-fans, though, there's one film we didn't see that's more heart-wrenching in its absence than any other: the once-mooted live-action adaptation of the legendary Batman Beyond animated series.
Yup, that's right - not only did we almost see a film adaptation of one of the most popular animated superhero series of all time, but from the sounds of it:
The Batman Beyond Movie Would Have Been Awesome
The true story of that potential awesomeness, though, starts way back in the year 2000, after the critical and commercial success of Remember the Titans. The film's director, Boaz Yakin, was in high demand out in Hollywood, but, as he put it in a recent interview with IGN, he was fairly determined to make an independent film:
"I had just made Remember the Titans and my inclination is to always go off a trend: make an independent film after I make a studio film. I spoke to my agent, and he said, 'I think you need to do another studio movie before you do that.' I was just basically like, 'Well, if I'm going to do a studio movie, like, I want it to be Batman' -- which at the time I just meant, if I'm going to do a studio movie, I want it to be a big ol' thing."
That unusual choice of phrase, though, led to something Yakin wasn't expecting:
"He came back to me and said, 'I have a meeting set up for you at Warner Bros. about Batman.' I was like, 'What!? [Laughs] Okay.' I guess at the time I think Darren Aronofsky was developing a Batman: Year One type of thing. So I said, 'Okay, let me see what I can do,' and I came up with this pitch on Batman Beyond."
Which, From the Sounds of It, Was Set to Be Pretty Faithful to the TV Series
After all, the show, though it had only recently debuted back in 1999, was already making waves with fans, so keeping to its basic structure (an older Bruce Wayne takes on a new Batman, Terry McGinnis, in a - distinctly dystopian - future Gotham) was something of a no-brainer. Even so, Yakin teamed up with two of the show's creators, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, to come up with a screenplay, and apparently:
"It was almost like Sam Raimi's Spider-Man but a little bit darker -- a teenage, kind of futuristic, cyberpunk Batman thing."
Or, in other words, exactly what you'd expect a Batman Beyond movie to be...
So, Why Didn't It Happen?
Well, according to Yakin, he simply realized his heart wasn't really in it:
"[I] very quickly got the feeling that I would be in the zone, the madness, and I didn't really have the heart for it at the time and I basically bailed after one draft. I just went, 'I can't do this.'"
"It might have really hurt my career. I went off and wrote the best script I ever wrote that never got made. But it was just one of those moments in time where you think you want to do something, and then you realize you don't really want to do it, and for some reason it's on your IMDb page for the rest of your life."
Which, since the combination of the inherent awesomeness of Batman Beyond with the heart of Remember the Titans would have been something to see, is a real shame.
Though, on the plus side, just a few short years later we got this:
Which...pretty much makes up for it...
What do you think, though?