Twenty-one years ago, Batman Beyond ushered in a new era of animated adventures for the Dark Knight. Set decades in the future, the series sidelined Bruce Wayne and put an entirely new character in the cowl, a teenager named Terry McGinnis. This radically different, cyberpunk Batman didn’t even have a cape. Wha-at???
While initially met with skepticism from the most rigid of fans who couldn’t imagine anyone other than Martha and Thomas Wayne’s orphaned son as the Dark Knight, Batman Beyond quickly showed it was a worthy successor to Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Today, the series is considered a treasured part of the Dark Knight’s long and storied mythology.
The story behind the story of Batman Beyond is almost as interesting as the tales told within the series’ 52 episodes and one feature-length film (the acclaimed and controversial Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker). The series exists because creators Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett managed to stay ahead of studio directives that called for Batman to follow the standard template for WB Network programming at the time: Go young or go home.
The network wanted a teenaged Batman. Wisely realizing that nuking the canon established in BTAS – not to mention the mythology in decades of Batman comics – would be disastrous, Timm scrambled to come up with an alternative: a Batman tale set in the future.
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So how did a network exec’s unwanted idea turn into a beloved animated series with its own unique legacy? How did Batman Beyond’s producers create something from such a specific ask that not only lived up to the established Bat canon but also expanded and enriched it?
For this installment of IGN Inside Stories, we talked with many of the principals involved with the series from the very beginning. Through these new conversations, we learned how the team paved a new road that led Batman into the future… and beyond. Watch the full video above or read on!
Unexpected Origin Story
The genesis of the new series spun out of a meeting with WB TV boss Jamie Kellner. Timm, Burnett, Dini and the late Jean MacCurdy, who was then running WB Animation, were in attendance. In that meeting, Kellner told the team he wanted a new Batman series, one that depicted Bruce Wayne as a teenager.
Bruce Timm, producer: I’m not sure I can adequately describe [my feelings] at that moment. It was surreal, and disappointing, shocking, and dream-like. Like this can’t be happening. It was not the words I expected to hear, let’s just say that. We were in the middle of doing our second iteration of Batman, The New Batman Adventures. We’d found our groove, we were digging the look of the show, we were digging the scripts and stuff, we were on fire. So to have the rug pulled out from under us, it was just like, “Oh God, seriously?”
My thing in the room [that day] was… my one overriding desire was I didn’t want to just throw all that [continuity] away. I didn’t want to throw that and Superman [The Animated Series] and BTAS out the window, so I said, “So if there was some way that we could come up with a teenage Batman show that was still in continuity, that’s still built off of the shows that we had already done, the only way really to do that is to go forward into the future and introduce a new character, a new Batman.”
James Tucker, director: We knew the network and the toy company wanted something like that, a future Batman idea. Bruce and Alan had always had tried to push it off because… there are no bad ideas, there’s just bad ways of doing things. The network always seems to pick one. At the time, I was just a storyboard artist and character designer. Bruce and Alan came and told all of us what they told the network. They pitched a young Batman, Terry McGinnis with an old Bruce Wayne. If the network wanted a future show, this was how they wanted to do it.
Bruce Timm: I’ll never forget, Jamie’s reaction was… it was kind of odd, and I remember this specifically. He said, “Yeah, it’s like the new generation of samurai passing his sword onto his protégé.” And I thought, “Well, I don’t really know what that’s about, but yeah. Yeah, like that.” And he said, “Great, let’s do that. Let’s make that show.” And I said, “So great, so the next steps are what? We’ll go off and get something on paper and start developing?” He said, “Oh no, no. You got a green light. I want this show for next fall. And we’re just like, “Uh, what?” It was that immediate.
Paul and Alan and I walked out of the room and we met in the parking lot as we’re getting into our cars and just kind of bitched and moaned about it. It was like, “Oh, I don’t want to do this stupid show. I don’t want to do teenage Batman, blah, blah, blah.” We wanted to keep doing the show we were doing, even though we knew that was pretty much a lost cause. So we just kind of walked away, grumbling, not really very enthusiastic about it. It was on Monday morning when I came in, and the first person I saw was Glen, and I told him what had happened and what it was all about. And Glen just kind of shrugged and went, “Hey, I think it sounds cool.”
Glen Murakami, producer: I did think it sounded cool. I told Bruce we should do it.
Bruce Timm: I was like, “What?” He said, “Yeah, a futuristic show, teenage Batman? We can do all that Spider-Man stuff, with the tortured hero, he’s got to balance his schoolwork and his love life and being a superhero.” Glen said we could come up with our own stylish version of futuristic Gotham. And he thought it sounded fun. And I kind of went, “Well, yeah. You’re kind of talking me into it.”
Glen Murakami: I think Bruce wasn’t sure about the idea until he pitched it to me. I don’t know if this was toy line related or what, but I think Buffy [Buffy the Vampire Slayer was airing on the WB network at the time] was doing really well for them so I think that also had some influence. They wanted a version of Batman similar to Buffy. I remember Bruce coming back from the meeting and telling me they wanted several different options. One was Bruce as a teenager before he becomes Batman, almost like Speed Racer driving around in a car helping people. But it’s before he’s Batman and before he has a Batmobile. That was one idea and I think there was maybe another idea almost like maybe Batman throughout time, different kind [of] versions of Batman.
The reason why I was interested in it is because I felt like people were typecasting us. We did BTAS and it was like, oh, “Dark Deco,” film noir. Okay, you guys know how to do that. And then we were doing Superman and it’s like, well, even Superman was kind of old-fashioned. I’m like, let’s do Batman Beyond to show people we can do something more modern.
Andrea Romano, casting and voice director: I really wanted to do it because we were creating a series that was not based on established material, whereas Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and even the Teen Titans show [later on] were based on existing material. This was something that we were kind of going to create ourselves.
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Hitting the Ground Running
With a series commitment and facing a ridiculously short production window, the production had no time to waste. Many of the same people that Timm, Burnett and Dini had worked with on the Batman and Superman series were recruited for Batman Beyond.
Bruce Timm: Once I came around on it, we had to hit the ground running. We had no time to develop the show. And we were still finishing up The New Batman Adventures. So we were doing two shows at the same time. We didn’t have scripts, we didn’t have characters, we hadn’t done any of the world building yet. It was a mad dash. We were making stuff up on the fly.
James Tucker: By that time, our crews just rolled over into every show that came along.
Stan Berkowitz, writer: I’d been hired to work on Superman in 1996. And essentially that was a staff that just stayed there from ’96 on. When Superman ended, most of the same crew all went together to Batman Beyond. For me, it was a little different because around Thanksgiving of 1997, I got an offer to go work on a Dick Wolf live-action show called Players. While I was doing that, Alan Burnett called me to tell me he and Paul Dini were writing a pilot for this new Batman thing. They had worked together to write the script for part one. They needed someone to write the script for part two. So while I was still working for Dick Wolf, I was pretty busy. I was writing the script for the Batman Beyond pilot at home.
That two-parter, titled “Rebirth,” would launch the series in a special primetime debut on January 10, 1999. The following week, part one would re-air in the series’ official daytime slot on the Kids WB! The story begins in 2019, when an aging Bruce Wayne nearly resorts to using a handgun after a hostage rescue goes awry. That moment makes him realize it is time to hang up the cowl. Twenty years later, Wayne helps a young teenager named Terry McGinnis fight off the Jokerz street gang. After McGinnis discovers the elderly man used to be Batman, the two form an alliance. The episode is crucial not just for establishing the foundation of Terry and Bruce’s relationship (formed amidst the commonality of personal tragedy), but also for how Bruce Wayne determined it was time to give up being the Batman.
Kevin Conroy, voice of Bruce Wayne: It’s not a decision that anyone imposes on him. It’s a decision that he arrives at through experience, through seeing that he physically can’t do anymore what he wants to do. So for him to hand over his mantle willingly and take on an apprentice and teach him everything he knows, that just shows extraordinary growth on Bruce Wayne’s part.
Bruce Timm: It made all the sense in the world. And this was the thing: From the minute we announced the show was going to happen, a lot of our fans … already wrote it off. They were just like, “Oh my God, this sounds horrible. This is going to be terrible. A teenage Batman? It’s going to be a stinky rip-off. It’s going to be for kids.” And actually that first two-parter, everything … is so much more adult, and darker, and uglier than pretty much anything we had done in any of our shows up until that point. So we knew that when we had that shot of Batman pointing a gun … at a criminal, that was the best way to slap those [critics] upside the head and say, “Nope, this is a good show, and you’re going to love it.” I love the pilot. I love both parts of it so much. It’s just a mission statement.
New Art for a New Gotham
With the series’ raison d’etre established, the crew had to worry about something else of great importance: a new rogues gallery. Timm was adamantly against just recycling classic Bat-foes with a fresh coat of future paint. He wanted new villains, with different goals and motivations that fit the Gotham of 2039.
James Tucker: Bruce pulled all the artists who could do it into a room and said, “We need villains.” He basically just threw it out there. We developed the show in a room. It was me, Glen, Shane Glines, a few others, and we were just throwing out ideas and literally just drawing. Everything was coming out fresh, because Bruce didn’t want us to just do futuristic Clayface. He wanted completely original characters.
Bruce Timm: I said that we could use their motifs, just come up with a really crazy, futuristic spin on all of them. Out of that idea, James Tucker came up with the Inque character. He literally just drew this blobby, weird, shape-shifting character, and then wrote I-N-Q-U-E, which I thought that was kind of a neat way to spell it. So that’s our Clayface, that’s our shape-shifting, weird character, but A, it’s a female, and B, she’s stylish and elegant, not just a pile of crap. That set the pattern for how we came up with all of the other characters.
James Tucker: Then the writers would come on, and then we’d have a script, it was like, “Oh.” Sometimes it was completely different than what we envisioned. When you’re drawing a character, you don’t really have a fleshed out idea of what it could be. I was always surprised to see what they took and what they came back with.
Stan Berkowitz: I remember the villain Shriek was basically just Glen drawing a picture of the character. Alan Burnett then gave it to me and said, “Here. Glen just did this drawing of a bad guy. It has something to do with sound, figure out something.”
James Tucker: I designed the majority of the Jokerz at the start of the series, and then later we started filling in new Jokerz as we went along. Everything that was in that show came from sitting in that room and talking. Thank God we had been all working together for the past five years already. I don’t think you could do a show… You couldn’t create a show from whole cloth with people who were fresh to each other and didn’t know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. There was just such a synergy and Bruce just trusted us. I don’t know, it was great. I’ve never had a working situation quite like that.
One of the standout elements of the series was the visual aesthetic of Gotham City. With staggeringly tall buildings, daring architecture and flying cars, it was a cyberpunk visualization of Gotham in 2039. The show’s visual artists drew on influences from across pop culture to design the mega-city. That’s challenging under normal circumstances. Given the show’s lack of preproduction time, it made it a nigh-impossible task.
Glen Murakami: I think Bruce would tell me some of the ideas he had and then I would kind of visualize them. I was just kind of the art director so I wasn’t really involved with story that much, but I was envisioning the world and then shoving my two cents in as much as I could.
James Tucker: Either Bruce and Glen or both of them had taken a trip to Tokyo for another project. They were very inspired by just how futuristic Tokyo looked. A lot of it seemed to generate from Glen. [He] kind of had the vision of the monolithic, sprawling megalopolis for the show. At least, he’s the one who started doing the drawing and the sketches that we initially started working from. Bruce Timm’s shows at the time were… they were very synergistic. Glen was the art director, so we’d all pile into his office. Bruce would come in, and a lot of times the ideas would come about based on conversations we were having about other stuff, sci-fi books and certain types of movies. I can’t pinpoint the exact thing that influenced the look of the show, other than we wanted it to feel massive. Especially compared to what anime does. I always thought our cityscapes never quite achieved that. But [the show designers] went out of their way to make sure there was a scale to it that we usually didn’t have.
Glen Murakami: I remember one of the ideas was [the series] was going to be a little bit more about class structure… like, Terry was going to be the kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He was going to be almost more like a bottom dweller and there was going to be rich kids, and almost like the high school was going to be met in the middle. We talked about that, and I don’t know why that kind of disappeared. Also, we had the idea that Bruce Wayne kind of loses his fortune and then the criminals are more in charge, so then the city should [become] more vertical. We said, “Oh, the original Gotham City is on the bottom, and they just kept building on top of it.” You could still go to the very bottom of Gotham City and still find the Dark Deco world, but the villains just kind of kept getting richer and richer, just stacking on top of it.
Glen Murakami: We just wanted it so when you were looking at the show, you could tell it apart [from the other series]. Each show had a different color palette, too. Even the skin colors on Batman Beyond, they’re a gray flesh color versus Superman that’s way more red. We wanted Batman Beyond to feel a little bit more oppressive.
Bruce Timm: I really wanted the show to have its own identity. [Our writers] literally had villains robbing banks. And I’m like, “Dude, 50 years from now, banks are not going to be banks as we know them. Nobody’s going to be using cash.” We were at least smart enough to realize that… So you literally have to start thinking forward, futurizing, future trends and stuff.
Stan Berkowitz: You had to kind of figure out what a futuristic version of a routine situation might be like. Like if they went to a fast food place, what would a fast food place for the future be like. I had no luck in doing that. I was not the futurist on the show.
James Tucker: I mean, we weren’t ahead of the curve on cell phones for sure. But, we do have iPads. My first episode I directed [Season 2’s “The Eggbaby,” which won Tucker and the team a Daytime Emmy award], one of the teachers was holding an iPad, essentially. That wasn’t a reality back then.
The Title Sequence
One of the most distinctive elements of Batman Beyond was the show’s opening. A dazzling array of images and techno-punk music mixed together, it was conceived by the late Darwyn Cooke, but ultimately was completed with the help of several others.
Glen Murakami: Darwyn Cooke had come onboard and he came from a commercial arts background. He said, “I can gather all of this artwork that we produce and I can collage it all together and put it together for a title sequence.”
Bruce Timm: Darwyn assembled it all in After Effects, back in the days when it took forever just to render a single scene. It’s just kind of mind-blowing when you look back on it now. It’s a pretty sophisticated piece of film for 1999 technology. Because there was so much to be done on such a short timeframe, there’s a lot of everybody in it. I designed a bunch of stuff, Adam Van Wyk animated two different scenes of Batman doing stuff. There’s a James Tucker shot in there.
Glen Murakami: Bruce had a video camera and he had a setting on it to kind of pixelate it so he filmed a lot of stuff in that really crummy, low-tech format.
Bruce Timm: That shot of Bruce Wayne that everybody thinks is CGI, that’s literally a sculpture. That’s a 3D sculpture that Glenn Wong, one of our designers, built. I stuck it on a Lazy Susan on my kitchen table, spun it around, and shot it with my home video camera. Then Darwyn took that image and digitized it, and that gives it that weird CG look.
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Glen Murakami: That shot of Batman standing and he turns with the Jokers? That’s an action figure.
Bruce Timm: That’s a Nightwing action figure that I kitbashed and customized him to look like Terry. And again, he’s on the Lazy Susan, and I just literally spun him and shot him. And then Darwyn took that and then surrounded him with James Tucker villains. So James drew the crowd of villains surrounding him. Yeah, it’s a mashup of all of us, but I [don’t want to] under-emphasize how much Darwyn had to do with it.
Glen Murakami: A lot of it was Darwyn insisting, “Let’s use this new technology. I can do it. We don’t have to send it overseas. I can do it all.” And he was right, but back then the computers were just running so slow that I think his computer kept crashing all the time. And because it was distressed so much digitally and processed so much, I think people look at it and go, “Oh, it must be CG.” But a lot of the solutions were very, very low tech.
Finding the New Batman
Casting the new Dark Knight was arguably the most crucial element of getting the series off the ground. Terry McGinnis shared several qualities with Bruce Wayne, including experience with personal tragedy at a young age, but they were not the same character. The producers were after a young voice. Will Friedle, then a co-star on the ABC comedy Boy Meets World, won over the team immediately. But even before the title role was cast, Timm, Dini and Romano had figured out what to do about Old Man Bruce. Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman/Bruce in BTAS and The New Batman Adventures, was the only choice to play the retired Batman.
Kevin Conroy: They said, “We want to do a new Batman show.” And I thought, “This is great, another shot.” And they said, “But you’re not going to be Batman.” I said, “Wait a minute! That doesn’t sound so good!” They then told me it’s a Batman in the future and [I’m] 80-year-old Bruce Wayne. So I’m his teacher and sort of the Obi-wan Kenobi of the show. They knew that I brought the spirit of Bruce Wayne, the internal character that I had established. They loved that, but would I be able to age the voice enough to be convincingly 88?
Andrea Romano: I just knew that [Kevin] could do it. I knew that aging of one’s voice is not that difficult. Kevin already knew that he needed to use a deeper pitch for this guy. And then he started adding some air to it in addition to the gravel that he added anyway, and the gravitas that he gave to that character. And there was kind of a fun thing about this Bruce Wayne… he was cranky most of the time.
Kevin Conroy: There are no guarantees at all. It’s all based on how good you were yesterday, you know, then they bring you back. What a business.
Will Friedle, voice of Terry McGinnis/Batman: I guess Bruce’s wife was a Boy Meets World fan, and she’s the one who said that Bruce and Andrea should bring me in. So I didn’t know that they were already looking at me, which was very, very cool. But I remember being nervous. I’d never done an animated series before, never been behind a microphone before, so to go in and audition to play Batman for your first time ever was a little daunting.
Bruce Timm: [We knew] it was Will pretty much after hearing the first couple of words come out of his mouth in the audition. There was not even any competition.
Will Friedle: Every generation thinks their generation had the best cartoons, but mine really did. Batman: The Animated Series changed the whole ball game. So yeah, it was big shoes to fill. But in another way, it wasn’t too bad because I didn’t have to play Bruce. When you don’t have to play Bruce Wayne, I can still to this day say, “I’m the best Terry McGinnis there’s ever been.” Because [I am the] only Terry McGinnis there’s ever been. So I think stepping into the role of Bruce Wayne is a heck of a lot harder than stepping into the new kid’s shoes.
Andrea Romano: Sometimes you want to hire an established, known actor because they will make your job easier. You won’t have to teach them as much. But every once in a while, you want to take the risk and bring in somebody who you believe will be a really good choice for the role.
Will Friedle: I think the thing that I did [that] other people might not have done … was that I loved the Michael Keaton Batman. I thought he really paid respect to the fact that Batman and Bruce Wayne were two very different characters. And I realized that Terry McGinnis was 17 years old, and that nobody was going to be scared of his voice. So I made sure that I deepened it when he was playing Batman, when he put on the cowl. So I could be wrong. Other actors might have done that, but I distinctly remember doing half of the audition as Terry and then half-deepening the voice and doing it as Batman.
Another challenge was getting the writers to grasp the idea that this Batman show wasn’t about Bruce Wayne; the spotlight needed to focus on Terry McGinnis. This frustrated Timm to no end.
Bruce Timm: Literally all [the writers’] pitches were about Bruce Wayne. And you know what? I love old man Bruce Wayne. I think he’s fascinating and fun, because he’s ancient, and he’s cranky, and he’s more of a bastard than he ever was, but he’s not the star of our show. Terry is the star of our show. And nobody could relate to him. They were like, “Oh, but we’re all 50-year-old men. We don’t know how to write for a teenage boy.” And I was like, “You’re a writer. Use your goddamn imagination. If you can’t write this show, then maybe you ought to find another show.”
I’m overselling it. Bruce was an equal partner. But he was not the main character. And it was just really hard to get everybody to think outside of the standard Batman box. All of our freelance writers, nobody understood it. So we literally had to write all of the stories in-house. And again, we didn’t have the time. All of this stuff was just happening instantaneously. It was insane. I had never experienced anything like it.
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James Tucker: Bruce and Alan and Glen were very specific about that. We have to care about Terry. He is our Batman. We have to make him matter, because people already know and love Bruce. Another thing about that is Terry … brought out this side of Bruce, this tenderness, even in his grumpiness, but there’s something that humanized Bruce a little more than what he had been.
Andrea Romano: I think Terry McGinnis was more rebellious than bad. He had a lot thrust upon him as a very young man, but he had a good soul.
Bruce Timm: We wanted his personality to be completely different than Bruce… it’s almost like he has the exact opposite reaction to his dad being killed that Bruce Wayne did. It’s almost like it pushed him into the arms of Bruce and the whole Batman mythos, to kind of avenge his dad. But then once he gets into the suit, it kind of saves him. It kind of puts him on the right path. He still has trouble in class, and if anything, he has even more trouble with class, because he’s so busy being Batman all the time. But when he’s in the suit, he’s a different guy than [Bruce] was. He’s not brooding. He’s not dark and brooding. Any teenager, when they see Terry in that suit, flying around town, or driving the Batmobile, in a flying car, they’re going, “Oh my God, this is unbearably cool.” You know every kid in America watching the show was saying, “Yep. That’s exactly how I would react to it.”
Stan Berkowitz: The whole point of doing the series was to have a hero who is younger and could appeal to younger people. So we made him someone who thinks he knows a lot and is continually getting shown up by his older mentor. You made a mistake here, but you’re learning, you’re learning kid. [Terry is] still a bit of a screw up, but I mean, he has girlfriends. He has friends. I don’t think Bruce Wayne had any of that stuff. I think Bruce Wayne was just always this dark disturbed little kid who was essentially friendless. Bruce Wayne is a fake [identity]. It’s his actual given name, of course, but it’s a fake because he’s not really Bruce Wayne. Going back to the Shriek episode in the first season, he was hearing voices in his head and he’s thinking, “Am I losing my mind?” And then he realized, “No, I’m not losing my mind because the voices keep addressing me as Bruce.” And then Terry goes, “Well, that’s your name?” Then Bruce says, “But that’s not what I call myself in my thoughts.” He’s Batman. And he’s been Batman for a very long time.
Will Friedle: There’s a couple of things I loved about that episode. To me, [it has] one of the best animated fight scenes ever, and it’s not long, but it’s the scene where all of the sound drops out. Essentially, they’re fighting in silence, which is amazing. I know that was something that Bruce [Timm] had wanted to do for a long time, was pulling out all the music, pulling out all the sound, and having a silent fight, which is very interesting.
The other thing I loved about that particular episode was it was Terry’s first chance to try to be the detective without Bruce standing over his shoulder. I think there’s one of my funniest lines where Terry is trying to work the bat-computer, and he doesn’t know how to [give the commands]. And he’s like, “Tell me the stuff that this thing’s made of,” because he doesn’t know the words to prompt the computer. That was one of the early pivotal episodes that helped set the tone for the series.
Glen Murakami: The thing that I used to say about Terry is, Terry likes being Batman. I think Bruce Wayne is haunted about being Batman. I think Terry enjoys being Batman.
For the role of Dana Tan, Terry’s girlfriend, another member of Timm’s troupe was tapped for the part. Actress Lauren Tom had previously voiced Angela Chen on Superman: The Animated Series.
Lauren Tom, voice of Dana Tan: I think that I got Superman because that was right around the time when I was Julie, Ross’s girlfriend, on Friends.
The actress takes particular pride in how Dana helped break ground because, at the time, she was one of the few Asian characters in an animated series.
Lauren Tom: I was just his girlfriend who happened to be Asian, which was really lovely. And I also love the fact that Dana was pretty strong. She’s not like a wimpy weak gal at all. I mean, she was a bit put upon because he kept standing her up. But in the [Season 2] episode “Rats,” for example, which was kind of like my main episode, I was amazed that she just doesn’t freak out. Like once she wakes up and realizes she’s been kidnapped by Patrick Fitz, she’s so calm. And she tries to reason and talk with him, like a person who has a lot of confidence and strength would, because me in real life, I would be so freaked out that I’m sure I would start screaming. I really liked that aspect of her personality.
After the Future of Batman
Batman Beyond ran from 1999 to 2001, composed of three seasons and one feature film. Nearly four years later, what was essentially the series finale of Batman Beyond aired on Justice League Unlimited. The episode “Epilogue” retconned, using some serious superhero science, that Bruce Wayne was actually Terry McGinnis’ father.
In the years since the show went off the air, Terry McGinnis has persisted in comics, games, and of course on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming. And with the constantly changing state of the DC film universe, the future of Batman Beyond is always filled with hope.
James Tucker: At first it was something we were dreading, and then it became something we really got into and loved. We thought of it as something where we were actually contributing to the Batman mythos, something unique, something that didn’t exist before in the Batman world. We got a lot of hate up front about it; it was touch and go for us as far as if we were going to achieve that. It’s gratifying to know that fans who grew up on it, for whom Terry was their first Batman… it’s nice that it did pay off, that our hard work and the thing we became passionate about created passion in others.
Stan Berkowitz: There was something odd about it in that we had, instead of one hero, we had two incomplete people and they needed each other. You absolutely could not get rid of one of them. Most team-ups are unnecessary, but I think the Batman Beyond team-up was absolutely crucial. It was that relationship that tied them together. And I think that’s what made the TV series unique.
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Kevin Conroy: It’s the psychology of the characters, the psychology of Bruce Wayne, the psychology of Terry McGinnis. There’s a real sense of family between the audience and these characters. And I think that’s why they want more of it.
James Tucker: It’s probably our most human show.
Will Friedle: I think for a whole new generation, it made people go, “Wait, I can be Batman,” and I think that’s a cool thing. So there was a whole new generation of kids watching a superhero show where the superhero was a kid in high school, just like them, kid in school who had to deal with dating, and being bullied, and problems at home.
My favorite exchange between Terry and Bruce happens at the end of the pilot … the last two lines between the two of them, where he just says, “I’m a stern taskmaster. I want you to come and do this with me.” And Terry says, “Yeah, I think I can handle it.” And Bruce just says, “Very well, Mr. McGinnis, welcome to my world.” And they shake. It still gives me chills when I think about that. And I think it is you’re bringing that whole next generation of younger Batman fans into a whole new version of Batman. And I think that sustains, I really do. I think it’s cool.
What are your memories of Batman Beyond? Do you want to see it revived in some form? Let’s discuss in the comments!
Read more: ign.com