15 Things You Never Knew About Batman Beyond

6The show's fashion was inspired by the graphic novel "The Stars My Destination"


In the pantheon of science fiction, author Alfred Bester is quite distinct. Unlike Philip K. Dick or H.G. Wells, his work used fantasy as a means to twist an otherwise conventional narrative. In the 1956 novel The Stars My Destination, Bester lifts the basic premise from The Count of Monte Cristo and throws space travel and teleportation into the fold for good measure-- a brilliant, lucid read. Destination continues to hold a special place in the hearts of hardcore sci-fi fans, and in 1979, artists Byron Preiss and Howard Chaykin adapted the first volume into a graphic novel. The second part was released much later, in 1992 (due to legal issues).

Both volumes left an indelible mark on the fashion of Batman Beyond. Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett fashioned the Victorian cut of the clothing to closely resemble that of the graphic novel’s 25th century. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola also added input in these early stages, helping shape the idea that Gotham was, like its earlier incarnation, devoid of a specific time period.

5The Crew Didn't Like the Idea of a "Teenage Batman"


WB programmer Jamie Kellner loved Batman: The Animated Series, but felt the show was leaning too heavily on nostalgia, and wanted to retrofit Batman for younger audiences. The crew simply took this as another hint to bring in a sidekick like Robin or Batgirl. Kellner, however, had other ideas. He wanted to see an aging Bruce Wayne pass the mantle to a new hero-- a teenage hero. Within days of his pitch, the show was given a green light and Kellner commissioned the crew to start work immediately in 1998.

Needless to say, everyone was a bit shell shocked. The New Batman Adventures was still on the air, so the idea of ditching Gotham’s vintage aesthetic for a tech-noir reboot didn’t sit too well with the crew. Many even considered quitting before production on Beyond began. Thankfully, producer Glen Murakami saw potential in Kellner’s vision, and his enthusiasm convinced everyone to stay on.

4The show was inspired by the anime "Akira"

batman-beyond-4-akira influence

Like its predecessors, Batman Beyond pulled heavily from other styles. This included German expressionism, a stark visual milieu that drew comparisons to the silent era touchstone Metropolis (1927). In both stories, there is a clear divide between the upper and lower class, furthering the idea of a dystopian society. There’s also the inescapable Blade Runner (1982) homage, seen everywhere from the neon nightclubs to the freak show punks that line the street.

But the most important influence for Paul Dini and Alan Burnett was actually the 1988 anime Akira. Written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, the sci-fi film provided a cyberpunk sheen that perfectly suited the new Gotham. The motorcycle chase in the Batman Beyond pilot was a direct homage, as was the weapons platform that shot out beams of light in Return of the Joker. Funnily enough, one of the animators at Tokyo Movie Shinsa (where the film was made) actually created the original scene in Akira-- and decided to take the job so he could top his own work!

3The Network wanted Terry's brother to be a sidekick


Despite solid reviews and a few Daytime Emmy nominations, WB had a few bones to pick come the show’s second season. They felt that the writers leaned too heavily on the Bruce-Terry dynamic in season one, and wanted to see more characters thrown into the mix. This led to larger roles for Terry’s girlfriend Dana Tan, school bully Nelson Nash, and computer whiz Maxine “Max” Gibson. The latter was based completely on network suggestion, as they wanted someone who could serve as both an ally and a trusted confidante for Batman.

Where the network and the creators disagreed was with Terry’s little brother Matt. The idea was to bring Matt in on the Batman secret, to the point where he would start fighting crime as Terry’s sidekick. Yes, just like Robin. Speculations didn’t stop there, and went on to include a secret exit in a dumpster or a closet where Matt would have a motorcycle ready for action. Needless to say, the idea was tossed in the dumpster next to Mr. Freeze’s severed head.

2There were plans for a second "Batman Beyond" movie


After the glowing response to Return of the Joker, plans were made for a direct-to-DVD sequel. The story was said to involve Selina Kyle, long retired from her Catwoman days and serving as the CEO of a large company. Whilst there, she discovers how to clone humans, and proceeds to create multiple Bruce Waynes to carry out her evil bidding. Terry would spring into action, only to find that he too has a clone guarding Selina. The script was rumored to be even darker than that of Return of the Joker, and WB shelved it.

Thankfully, fans were given the Justice League episode “Epilogue” three years later, which borrowed elements from the Catwoman script. While technically a season finale for Justice League season three, the episode is really a proper end to Batman Beyond; discussing details, actions, and events that occurred after the series. Bruce Timm originally wanted “Epilogue” to be the finale of the entire DCAU, but high ratings kept this plan from coming to fruition.

1Bruce Wayne is Terry's biological father


The biggest bombshell to drop in “Epilogue” was that Bruce Wayne is Terry Mcginnis’ biological father. This is revealed by Amanda Waller, who explains in a plan can only be described as “elaborate.” Warren Mcginnis unwittingly had his DNA re-written into an exact copy of Bruce’s when he received a flu shot, making both Terry and Matt part of the Wayne lineage. When Terry was 8, Waller hired assassin Andrea Beaumont (AKA: The Phantasm) to kill Warren and his wife Mary coming out of a theater, hoping it would recreate the same trauma that shaped Bruce.

Andrea backed out in the 11th hour, believing it would go against everything Bruce believed in, and Waller aborted the mission. Fate seemingly played it's hand later, however, as the random murder of Warren led to an identical response from Terry.

Throughout the series, this twist was hinted at with constant reference to Bruce being Terry's "father figure." Coupled with their similarities: both from broken homes, both loners by choice, and both seeking deliverance through justice, it makes sense that these be the men who guard the night.

Next Harry Potter: 10 Things About Severus Snape That Haven't Aged Well

More in Lists