For the past two decades, the world of superhero films has grown by leaps and bounds, with blockbusters becoming an annual occurrence and fans constantly clamouring for more content. It all started with Tim Burton’s 1992 film, which launched a full-blown craze for all things Gothic and gothic-inspired. So, naturally, it wasn’t long before the studios began to covet this lucrative market and before we began seeing countless imitators and rip-offs. However, while most of these films are fondly remembered for their over-the-top costumes, makeup and special effects, not all of them are as clever as they seem.
The success of Burton’s movie coupled with the nostalgic appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series helped inspire Warner Brothers to give Gotham City another shot at establishing itself as a stand-alone movie universe. Thus, we were blessed with two more entries in the form of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, the first and third films in the trilogy, which stands as one of the most profitable and critically-acclaimed trilogies of all time. These films were a tremendous success at the box office and helped establish the modern-day superhero film genre.
Nearly twenty years later, in 2012, a fourth Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, was released. Again, the studio was eager to capitalise on the popularity of Batman and successfully pitched the film as the finale to the trilogy. While many expected this film to be the final nail in the coffin for the cinematic Batman, the opposite was true. Not only did The Dark Knight Rises premiere to critical and commercial success, it established a new benchmark for superhero films and inspired a sequel, Batman Begins, released just two years later.
This year, Warner Brothers once more turn to the comics to help establish their fifth cinematic entry in the Batman series, and what a rich and varied history the comics have to offer! With so much material to choose from, it can be tricky to figure out where to begin, but thanks to our friends at WB, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered together all the crucial information you need to know about the upcoming Batman Beyond film, including when and where to expect it, the key cast and crew, as well as a complete overview of the plot. So, sit back, relax and prepare to learn everything you need to know about Batman Beyond.
When Is Batman Beyond Scheduled To Be Released?
The highly-anticipated and much-loved Batman Beyond, directed by Jay Sandrich and set for a 22nd November 2018 premiere, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. The last few years have seen a rise in critical acclaim for superhero films and an increase in popularity for the character of Batman, which makes sense, as he has been around for more than 70 years and is one of the most popular and recognised comic book characters of all time. So, it’s clear that for fans of the Dark Knight, this is going to be one to watch!
For those of you who are less familiar with the character of Batman, allow us to introduce you to Harvey Bullock, a.k.a. ‘The Bullseye’ – Batman’s unofficial sidekick and one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. Harvey is a skilled investigator who first made his appearance in a Detective Comics (the predecessor to DC Comics) storyline back in January of 1949. The character quickly evolved into one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, with sales reaching over 66 million copies between all of his various incarnations, including the current one. If you’re a fan of old-school comics, you’ll certainly want to pick this one up!
Along with the anticipation for the upcoming Batman Beyond release, fans are also anxious to learn more about the film’s plot. Unfortunately, as with most superhero films, plot details are under wraps and the studios generally don’t like to spoil the fun for viewers. Still, given the critical and commercial success of the previous Dark Knight films and considering the massive popularity of the character of Batman, we can probably expect something along the lines of what we saw in The Dark Knight Rises. So here’s what you need to know:
Will Batman Beyond Be A Prequel Or A Reboot?
It seems likely that, aside from some elements of modern-day society creeping into Batman’s world, the upcoming film will be a prequel. After all, this is the fifth film in the Batman series and much of the original cast and crew are returning for the new movie. Furthermore, in a recent interview with IGN, Jay Sandrich, the director of Batman Beyond, teased that they were trying to avoid a direct sequel and instead, take the opportunity to “go deeper into the psyche” of the character. While this may be true, it would also be a great opportunity to revisit some of the stories from the character’s earlier incarnations and explore how he has evolved over the years. Perhaps Harvey Bullock, the original ‘Boy Wonder’ (Batman’s first and most popular sidekick) will play a greater role in this story than we’re led to believe. Perhaps Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy and reluctant superhero, will make a comeback and team up with his ‘Boy Wonder’ to save the day. Or maybe we’ll finally discover Harvey’s horrifying secret identity as the demon called Ruin. Only time will tell…!
Who’s In It?
Unlike most superhero films, which are dominated by famous faces, Batman Beyond features an incredible ensemble cast made up of some of the best character actors in the business. While many famous faces will appear in this year’s film, it is an opportunity for A-list actors to showcase their talent in a more intimate setting. In fact, the entire cast is made up of character actors, with the exception of one main star. This is no coincidence as it allows Jay Sandrich to extensively explore the world of Batman, past and present, which is filled with fascinating and complex characters that the public has grown to love and appreciate.
This year, the film will star a stellar ensemble cast, including:
- Bruce Wayne
- Dick Grayson
- Harvey Bullock
- Marianna Trench
- Camilla Fox
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Jack Napier
- Race Bannon
- Betty Kane
- Elliot Vaughn
- Tina King
- Victor Vinterka
Along with an amazing cast, Batman Beyond also features some incredible special effects and creatures, created by the fantastic team at Atomic Fiction. This is the same company responsible for bringing you the awesomeness that is the Predator series, so it’s not hard to see why they were chosen for this project. Still, it’s great to have an opportunity to work with creatures that you’re not necessarily familiar with, but which you instantly recognise from a popular, well-known franchise.
What Is It About?
According to the trailer, Batman Beyond is set in the present day but with a heavy emphasis on Bruce Wayne’s psyche as he tries to come to terms with his past as the Caped Crusader and his connection to the serial killer known as ‘The Joker’. The trailer suggests that one day, Batman may finally retire, but not before saving the city one last time. It seems that the Joker, who has been at large for much of the year, has finally found a way to escape from prison and is bent on taking over Gotham. The trailer ends with the familiar ‘Bat Signal’ being illuminated and a glimpse of the Dark Knight swooping in to save the day. Still, considering the secrecy that surrounds most superhero films, it remains to be seen exactly what will happen in Batman Beyond and exactly who it is that Batman will be fighting this time around. Suffice to say, this film is bound to be just as exciting as the previous four installments!
Key Cast And Crew
The man behind the camera for Batman Beyond is Jay Sandrich – a veteran filmmaker who has worked on many iconic films, including The Dark Knight series, Zodiac and the upcoming Death of Stalin. Additionally, he was one of the cinematographers for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. So, while you’re expecting something special from this film, you’re guaranteed to get something different too. It’s great to have so much creative talent on board and the opportunity to explore an iconic character in a whole new way. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that, as with any big-budget film, the scale of the production will inevitably influence the kind of material you’re going to see. But as the film’s director, Sandrich has full creative control and can pull no punches when it comes to his favourite character. For the latest and greatest in movie magic, look no further!