Warner Brothers Discovery is on a canceling spree, and there’s not a movie big enough to stop David Zaslav from scrapping plans altogether. When it comes to DC, the live-action universe is quite a mess at the moment. There are three Batmans – Robert Pattinson, Ben Affleck, and Michael Keaton – two Jokers – Joaquin Phoenix and Barry Keoghan – and two Harley Quinns – Margot Robbie and Lady Gaga; None of the universes align with one another, and it’s become a confusing mess, even if most of the solo films turn out to be great. Now, DC had the option of just running a string of excellent stand-alone features, which would be a counterbalance to Marvel’s connected universe. However, there’s no denying that Kevin Feige’s plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a massive success that studios have been trying to replicate since.
That includes DC, as James Gunn and Peter Safran have confirmed their universe will connect through films, movies, and even video games! The core of the DC universe has been shaken up, and the future remains unknown currently. With the recent news of Wonder Woman 3 being canceled, it seems as if Gunn and Safran are looking at a hard reboot, though there’s plenty of news and speculation on what’s coming next for the DCU. However, in addition to Wonder Woman 3, another feature has been scrapped as The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that a Michael Keaton Batman Beyond live-action film was in the works. Christina Hodson – who penned Flash and Batgirl – pitched the idea for a Batman Beyond, and the executives were excited. However, once Safran and Gunn came into the picture then executives told her to stop working on the script.
This is actually disappointing as fans have been clamoring for a Batman Beyond live-action series for years now. For those who missed the original cartoon, the story sees the older Batman pass the reigns over to a younger version in a futuristic Gotham City. The original series was heavily praised by fans and critics because it gave the world a chance to see a different type of Batman while delivering a unique point-of-view when it comes to the older Bruce Wayne. There’s no word on who would’ve played the young Batman, but it’s truly a shame that this project will likely never see the light of day.
Understandably, it is necessary if the DC universe is going to be connected. If Gunn and Safran decide to take the route of having Bruce Wayne pass the mantle to Terrence “Terry” McGinnis Wayne, then it would be a cool way to introduce a younger Batman, and it would allow the live-action series to venture into different stories based on the dynamic of Bruce and Terrence Wayne. It’s going to take a while for DC to get back on track; however, the legendary comics have a compelling set of characters who would do well in a live-action adaptation.
The main issue is that the vision of the DCEU has been murky since Warners Bros. decided that they were done with Zack Snyder’s vision of their universe. But the key components remain characters that were introduced under the Zack Snyder brand, namely Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Henry Cavill’s Superman. If Gunn and Safran are truly looking to reboot the DCU, then they need to restart from scratch. Zack Snyder’s universe is too damaged to restart using the same exact characters. Plus, audiences have seemingly grown tired of disappointing DC films. It sucks that Batman Beyond has been shelved, but hopefully, this is a sign that the DC universe can finally live up to its potential.
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