With Batman vs Superman just over a month away, the DCEU is set to take a huge step forward! Fans will be getting a movie with Batman fighting Superman, most of the Justice League members, and some of the biggest DC villains all in the same movie! However, I believe the smaller scale movies can be just as good, if not better, than the massive team-ups. What individual superhero movies lack in fantastical action scenes, they make up for with a more personal story that allows you to dive deeper into a character. It's as if Hollywood feels its viewers attention span is too short to focus on one hero throughout a movie, so they pack as many characters in as they can. Either that or they force each individual film to fit into an overarching story and in my opinion the smaller story suffers for it because each film just feels like a preview for the next.
That brings me to the property DC has that could bring back the story-based hero movie, while still fitting into the DCEU.
Believe it or not, the story of Terry McGinnis almost made it to the big screen before Batman Begins, however it died in development. This means Warner Bros. at least know they have something in this property. Obviously, this was far before the days of the DCEU and now that the DCEU is getting into gear it seams this project will likely remain dormant indefinitely. This is a huge mistake by DC! Batman Beyond would make for the most unique superhero film to date.
Batman Beyond: The Return of The Knight
Bruce Wayne - Ben Affleck
Terry Mcginnis - Taron Egerton
Derek Powers - Christoph Waltz
Mr. Fixx - Dave Bautista
Warren McGinnis - Ewan Mcgregor
Harry Tulley- Domhnall Gleeson
Dana Tan- Selena Gomez
This would be similar to Batman Beyond: The Movie, but I obviously made some changes.
The first reason a Batman Beyond movie would be great is because we get to see Bruce Wayne deal with his mortality in the first five minutes. It starts off with a group of thugs sitting around smoking cigarettes and counting money in a small hanger. Next to them lies a young woman bound and gagged and over the radio we hear how Bruce Wayne thwarted the takeover attempts on his company from tech mogul Derek Powers. The radio goes on to say how the mayor's daughter was still missing despite the ransom being paid. One of the thugs asks what they're going to do with the girl. The other says, "kill her or have some fun with her. I don't care." The thug points a gun at her. That's when a batarang comes whizzing into the room. Enter Batman rocking a snazzy new jet black suit with a red bat on it. At first it seems as if this is the Dark Knight of old and he'll have no problem taking out these low-class thugs. One by one Batman takes them down as he flies across the screen almost unseen. Once the thugs appear to be taken care of, Batman goes to free the mayor's daughter, but something is wrong! Before he can free her, he clutches his chest and falls to one knee. This is a battle Batman cannot win against an opponent he cannot see. One of the remaining thugs grabs a crowbar and begins beating the wounded Batman. Things look bleak for the Bat until the mayor's daughter kicks him a gun. He picks it up and points it at the thug. The thug backs away and says "Wait! Stop! You don't kill anyone!" Batman's eyes widen with the realization of what he's almost done. "Get out!" He barks, and the thug rushes from the hangar as a group of police cars arrive. The police rush in and free the mayor's daughter. Batman is gone..
We cut to outside the hangar where Bruce pulls off his mask, looks at the gun in disgust and throws it to the ground. When he gets back to the Batcave he puts the suit in a display case beside the many Batman, Robin, and Batgirl suits and vows "never again" as he shuts off the light. Could you imagine a more badass opening to a movie than that?
When was the last time you saw a superhero movie that took place in the future? Movies like Watchmen, Captain America, along with the upcoming Apocalypse and Wonder Woman all take place in the past. Sure, Days of Future Past partially took place in the future, but most of the movie took place in the '70s. Batman Beyond presents a rare opportunity to make a superhero movie that takes place solely in the future as we flash forward to the year 2040. Gotham is a complicated scene. There are flying cars cruising through the sky, but we also see jam-packed traffic on the streets below. We see shiny new sky-scrapers, but also the same decrepit buildings from the past. This juxtaposition shows that, while this is the future, there is the same disparity in Gotham there has always been between rich and poor.
A futuristic bullet train silently flies by and on the train's television we hear a news report about billionaire Derek Powers, co-owner of Wayne-Powers Enterprises, vowing to clean up the streets of Gotham. At the next stop, a man dressed as a clown gets on the train and harasses the passengers and tries to steal a woman's purse. This is when we meet Terry. Reminiscent of a young Bruce Wayne, Terry tells the clown to stop or he's going to make him stop. The two trade punches but with a vicious blow Terry knocks him out cold. The train comes to a screeching halt and both Terry and the unconscious jester are arrested and taken off the train. Now we've established our protagonist as a badass who hates clowns. Definitely someone the fans could see worthy donning the Batsuit.
Next we cut to a sky-scraper with the name Wayne-Powers on it. Inside a phone is ringing. A middle-aged man picks up the phone and states his name is Warren McGinnis. The man on the other end of the line tells him it's Harry. He tells Warren he needs to meet him on the roof immediately and he'll explain everything then and hangs up the phone. As Warren leaves the office, we see a mysterious figure comes out of the shadows. It's Mr. Fixx (Dave Bautista). On the rooftop Warren jokingly tells Harry he looks like shit but his pal isn't interested in small talk. When he asks Harry what's wrong Harry merely shakes his head and hands Warren a disc and tells him that he needs to look at it as soon as he gets home. Warren tries to get a grasp on what's going on but before the two can talk any further, Mr. Fixx comes onto the rooftop with several armored security guards. Harry begins to lash out like a caged animal. The security guards sedate him and as he falls to the ground Warren sees a nasty rash on his friends body. He looks at Mr. Fixx who smiles at him menacingly. Warren's phone rings and he finds out Terry was arrested.
We cut to Terry and Warren entering their home with Warren slamming the door behind them. He tells Terry he needs to get his life together and do something productive. He tells him he can't keep getting into fights and asks what his mother would think of him if she were still alive. Terry says he'd rather she were still alive and that his father was dead and storms our of the house. Warren sighs and says to himself "what did you do Warren?" He goes into his office and looks at the disk Harry gave to him. It has the name "POWERS" on it. He puts the disk in the computer and finds something horrifying but we don't see what it is. Then there is a knock at the door...
We cut to Terry meeting up with his girlfriend Dana (Selena Gomez) at a night club. She asks why he didn't call and he tells her that he fought "a joker" on the train and got arrested. There is a commotion outside and Terry and Dana go to check it out. It's a gang of Jokerz riding on motorcycles, including the one Terry fought on the train. The leader of the gang, who resembles the original Joker, stops and grabs Dana around the waste and says to leave the square behind and live like a Joker for the night as he sprays Terry in the face with a water lapel flower. Terry rips him off his motorcycle and smashes him into the ground. He proceeds to beat the crap out of him and the rest of the gang, again growing in our hearts and minds! But soon reinforcements arrive and Terry is forced to retreat. He tells Dana to get somewhere safe.
He hops on a futuristic motorcycle and gets into an awesome high speed chase down the streets of 2040 Gotham. Terry shows he's an amazing driver and he out maneuvers the Jokerz at every turn until he finds himself forced down a long and winding road that eventually leads him to the gates of Wayne Manor. Terry sees an old man standing in the street and is forced to crash to avoid hitting him.
That's when old Batfleck tells the Jokerz to get off his property. The leader of the gang chuckles and walks up to Bruce and says "You don't know who you're dealing with old man! We're the Jokerz!" And Bruce, badass to the core, says "Sure you are."
The Joker takes out a knife and swings at Bruce but the old man dodges it and with four swift swings of a cane, he brings the clown down! Terry gets his bearings and rushes back to the fight and the two stand back to back as the remaining Jokerz charge at them. It's awesome action as the two whoop the Jokerz asses! Eventually the wounded Jokerz flee but vow to come back. Terry exclaims that Bruce is amazing and asks where he learned to fight but he realizes the old man is in pain, doubled over and clutching his chest. Bruce tells Terry he needs his pills so Terry helps him up the mansion. While Bruce rests, Terry tries to call his father, but there is no answer. He decides to let himself out when he sees a bat in a grandfather clock and tries to free it, unwittingly opening a passage to the Batcave. He goes down and sees all the classic images. The giant penny, the dinosaur, the Batcomputer, and of course all the classic Batman and Robin suits. He is immediately drawn to a jet black suit with a red bat on it. He touches the glass in awe, when he is smacked across the head by a cane. A furious Bruce throws him out of the mansion and orders him never to come back.
Terry heads home to a horrific scene. The police have his house surrounded. Terry rushes to a cop and asks what happened. The cop tells him the Jokerz apparently ambushed a man inside the home. Terry rushes in, pushing past cops. He sees his murdered father on the ground and the words HAHAHAH plastered all over the walls. Terry falls to his knees. He can't believe it. He looks at the ground and sees a picture on the floor.
He notices a small disc hanging out of the bottom. He pulls it out right before the police get to him and force him out of the house. He goes to Dana's house and tells her what happened. He tells her about the last words to his father and how now he is an orphan. He begins to cry, and she holds him. Through his tears he says he's going to find out who did it and kill them. Dana tells him that it won't make him feel any better but he promises it will. They begin to kiss and that's when the disk falls out of his pocket. Dana asks what it is and Terry says he doesn't know. They put it into Dana's computer but it is blocked by several passwords. Terry is a decent hacker and tries to break the code but to no avail. He stands up and says "I know someone who can crack the code" and begins to walk out of the house. Dana says that it's about to be a storm and Terry says, "yeah there is."
Terry rushes to Wayne Manor on his motorcycle and asks for Bruce's help him from the gates intercom. The storm begins to pick up as rain pours down and lightning flashes across the sky. There is no answer and an angry Terry yells that Bruce is a fraud and is not the hero he pretended to be. "You never really were Batman were you!" That is when the gate opens. Batfleck watches from the window as Terry rushes to the door.
Down in the Batcave, Bruce easily cracks the code and they find disturbing pictures of Harry.
They also find out that Powers is planning to sell the dangerous mutigenic gas that did that to Harry as a weapon to a mysterious buyer. Terry says that it's time for Bruce to stop moping around his mansion and get back to doing business with his company. He even suggests that Bruce get a dog suggesting it's not healthy for him to be alone. The greatest detective alive ignores Terry and continues to dig for information. He finds out that Powers is planning a drop for the gas later that night and that the sale was for enough gas to wipe out half of Gotham. Terry says they have to stop it but Bruce says that they have to give the file to Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Terry can't believe it. He says that people will die, but Bruce orders him to take the file to Barbara, and there is nothing else to be said about the matter. Terry leaves but as he gets close to the police station, a car pulls up next to him and rolls down the window. Who else should it be but Mr. Powers smiling at him. He asks Terry to get in but Terry refuses. Powers tells him he insists but Terry begins to run. Mr. Fixx hops out of the car and chases Terry down. He tells him to give him the disc. Terry pulls out the disc and chucks it into the river. Mr. Fixx leans over the railing but the file is gone and so is Terry. He is just about to chase after him but Powers tells him to get into the car and not to worry because the disc was destroyed.
We cut to Bruce sitting alone in his mansion watching a news report about Derek Powers' plan to finish his takeover of Wayne Enterprises by 2042. Bruce turns off the TV and begins to walk toward the stairs when he notices the entrance to the cave ajar. He walks down the stairs to find the batsuit missing!
We cut to Terry doing his Batman thing through the Gotham skies! In the distance we see the WAYNE-POWERS building. I know it may seem pretty deep in the movie for Terry to be suiting up for the first time, however, I think that the story itself is strong enough to keep fans invested and that the payoff would be well worth it.
Terry has no problem taking down Powers' armored guards but he runs into trouble in the form of Mr. Fixx and we finally get the showdown we've been waiting for.
The two are trading blows and seem fairly evenly matched until suddenly the batsuit freezes, leaving Terry paralyzed. Mr. Fixx proceeds to pummel the defenseless Terry. Bruce Wayne begins to communicate over the radio in the batsuit, telling Terry he's put a lock on the suit. Terry begs for Bruce to unlock the suit. but Bruce ignores his pleas. Mr. Fixx rips off Terry's bloody mask and immediately recognizes him. He says that he is going to kill him just like he killed his father. He throws Terry to the ground and puts his boot to his head. Terry begins to scream in agony and Bruce can take it no longer. He unlocks the suit and a revenge fueled Terry throws a batarang that takes out Mr. Fixx's eye (yes, in my version, Batman is responsible for that scar) and defeats Mr. Fixx by throwing him out of the window into the river below. He rushes into the next room to find Powers, who is just about to board a transport. He tells the pilot to takeoff ant that he'll take care of the "Batfake." He pulls out a gun and opens fire at Terry who is forced to retreat. Terry sees one more barrel of mutigenic gas next to Powers and throws a batarang at it. The container explodes and Powers is doused in the gas. He begs Terry to save him, but Terry stands over him menacingly for a moment and flies away, leaving Powers to die. A little dark, I know, but this is an important scene that will come back later, I promise!
Terry quickly catches up to the transport and rips the back doors open. He tosses two guards into the river and heads for the cockpit. It seems like stopping the shipment will be a piece of cake. He gets to the cockpit where a dripping wet Mr. Fixx comes out of the shadows and lands a nasty hit on him. The two are going at it again and it appears Mr. Fixx has the slight edge. Terry grabs Mr. Fixx's wrists and the two push back and forth. Mr. Fixx says "I admit, you are pretty strong for someone who thinks he's Batman." Terry responds "I AM BATMAN!" The final scene of the fight we watch through Bruce Wayne's perspective as he watches Terry's point of view on the batcomputer. He has accepted the passing of the torch to the new generation. Bruce goes over the radio and tells Terry use a batarang to destroy the piloting console which Terry does. The transport begins to go down and Terry flies into the air as the plane crashes violently into the water. There is an explosion behind Terry as he flies into the night.
The next morning we see Terry laying on Dana's couch and there's a knock at the door. Dana answers it and calls for Terry. Terry gets up to find Bruce Wayne standing in the doorway holding the leash of his new dog. Terry pets the dog and admits that he's surprised Bruce took his advice. Bruce acknowledges that what Terry said was right, and that he can't just bottle himself up alone in his mansion anymore. Terry asks if he wants his suit back and Bruce tells him that he can keep it on one condition: he works as his assistant and moves into the Wayne Manor. Terry smiles and agrees."
Bruce: "I warn you, I can be a difficult taskmaster. I accept nothing short of excellence from all who work for me."
Terry: "I think I can handle it."
Bruce: "Very good then, Mr. McGinnis. Welcome to my world."
AFTER CREDIT SCENE
In an underground bunker, a man in a hazmat suit surrounded by expensive equipment works tirelessly over an operating table. We cut to a mysterious figure watching from the opposite side of a two way mirror. He taps on the glass, the man in the hazmat suit comes out of the operating room and stands next to the mysterious man. The man asks if Powers is going to make it. The man in the hazmat suit tells him that the radiation saved him from dying, but something strange happened. During the process the radiation mutated the virus. The dark figure asks what that means. The man in the hazmat suit turns off the light in the operating room and we see a green silhouette glowing in the dark. Powers stits up and looks at himself in the mirror. He is now nothing more than a glowing green skeleton. He puts his hands to his face and begins laughing maniacally.
Why it definitely won't be made
Batman Beyond, if made right, would make a great movie because it has a great story, great action, great characters, and it is unique. DC will not make this movie because "if made right" is too risky of a proposition when they can just throw Batman and Superman into a movie and rake in cash whether it's good or not. The sad truth is that it's a money business and Batman Beyond doesn't have enough of a draw to be anything short of a great movie...But DC has their version of Guardians of the Galaxy with this property. All they have to do is believe in it.
And of course, the sequel...
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
But that's a post for another day...