Clint Eastwood’S Rumored Batman Beyond Movie Took Direct Inspiration From The Dark Knight


In the aftermath of the disastrous 1997 release of Batman & Robin, Warner Bros. was desperately looking for ways to revive the Batman film franchise. This led to the development of several unmade Batman reboot projects in the early 2000s, including one rumored Batman Beyond movie that would have starred screen icon Clint Eastwood as an aging Bruce Wayne.

The Batman Beyond animated series was set in a futuristic Gotham City and followed a new Batman named Terry McGinnis, who is mentored by an elderly, withdrawn Bruce Wayne. Celebrated Batman writer Paul Dini, who co-created the show, revealed in an interview that Warner Bros. had approached him and Alan Burnett to pen a live-action Batman Beyond script in the early 2000s.

What was the Batman Beyond movie plot?

As per SlashFilm, according to Paul Dini, the Batman Beyond movie would have had a contemporary, gritty tone reminiscent of live-action Batman films.

He stated, “There was a little bit of The Dark Knight, there was a little bit of contemporary comics and there was Terry McGinnis and the suit and everything.”

The film would have focused on Terry McGinnis as Batman, with legendary actor Clint Eastwood approached to play the older, grizzled Bruce Wayne. Like in the animated show, Bruce would have mentored Terry and aided him as the new Batman. With Eastwood nearing his 70s in the early 2000s, he would have brought a perfectly world-weary take on the aging hero.

So the Batman Beyond script by Dini and Burnett was shaping up to be a street-level superhero film crossed with a mentor-protege drama starring two generations of cinematic icons. It likely took inspiration from Eastwood’s own vigilante movie Gran Torino which was released a few years later in 2008.


How did The Dark Knight affect plans for the Batman Beyond movie?

The Batman Beyond movie featuring Clint Eastwood never materialized. By the mid-2000s, Warner Bros. decided to take the Batman franchise in a different direction by greenlighting Christopher Nolan’s Batman origin film Batman Begins.

The Dark Knight trilogy went on to become a massive critical and commercial hit. So while Nolan’s gritty Batman films prevented the Batman Beyond production from pushing through, Dini said the planned Eastwood movie did have shades of Nolan’s realistic tone and aesthetic years prior.

Even though a Clint Eastwood-led Batman Beyond failed to happen in the 2000s, the idea for a live-action take has lingered for years. Before the new DC Studios regime took over, writer Christina Hodson was developing such a film with Michael Keaton potentially reprising his Batman role as the older Bruce Wayne.

And with the DC multiverse now in full swing, a Batman Beyond movie featuring a fan-favorite Batman actor as a mentor to a new Dark Knight can certainly strike a chord with audiences. It might not have Eastwood’s gruff gravitas, but the general premise still holds promise.