For a brief moment after he finished Remember the Titans, director Boaz Yakin was attached to a live-action version of Batman Beyond. Of course, Batman Begins ended up being the Batman project that Warner Bros. made, but Yakin calls Batman Beyond was the “best script I ever wrote that never got made.”
Speaking to IGN, Yakin said that he told his agent that if he did a big studio movie, he wanted it to be Batman — with Batman as a stand-in for a “big ol’ thing.” But then:
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.” (Year One, of course, would eventually go to Christopher Nolan, who turned it into Batman Begins.) “So I said, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do,’ and I came up with this pitch on Batman Beyond.
... It was almost like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man but a little bit darker — a teenage, kind of futuristic, cyberpunk Batman thing.
He adds that he gave up after one draft, since he just didn’t have the mindset for the madness of a big-budget, effects-driven film. But he explains why he thinks that Batman Beyond could still be a really cool project for someone:
Batman seems to be popular in any iteration. I think [Batman Beyond] is apart enough from the regular Batman that people are allowed to play in that playground, without sort of f***ing with continuity and all this stuff that people are so concerned with. It’s a different look at the character.
He’s totally right that the future-set Batman Beyond is far enough removed from the interconnected universe that Warner Bros. and DC is making. It could be a perfect way to tackle the character of Batman without having to reconcile all the past versions with the new universe, as they’re doing in Batman v Superman. It could have really worked.
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