Did you know that Clint Eastwood almost played Batman? Because it was certainly news to us.
Many DC fans will remember Batman Beyond, an animated series that ran from 1999 until 2001. The series revolved around a teen taking on the mantle of Batman, while being mentored by a much older Bruce Wayne.
In a recent episode of the Fatman on Batman podcast, comic book creator Paul Dini revealed that he and Alan Burnette were hired to write a script for a live action adaptation of the animated series. Boaz Yakin, of Remember The Titans fame, agreed to direct the film. Planning for the production went as far as considering Clint Eastwood for the role of Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, the WB wanted a more family friendly version of the film while Yakin wanted to keep the story dark and edgy.
Paul Dini went on to explain a little bit more about the Batman Beyond scenario:
“It was set in Gotham’s future, but it didn’t quite have the fantastic, futuristic edge. It was sort of like an amalgam. There was a little bit of Dark Knight, there was a little bit of contemporary comics and there was Terry [McGinnis] and the suit and everything. It was old Bruce Wayne.”
What Would A Clint Eastwood Bruce Have Looked Like?
Clint Eastwood has had a lengthy career for a span of 50 years starring in many roles and even producing and directing many films. He’s most known for serious, protective roles, so he would have definitely been able to take on the role of a much older and wiser Bruce Wayne.
Bruce is a character with a very tragic backstory, and he goes through many hardships in his years as Batman. By the time we see Bruce in his old age, it is to be expected that he’s going to carry himself in a sort of a tired and gloomy way. The years of fighting and taking some beatings here and there will have to be shown in his posture and in the way he walks, which is why the character uses a cane throughout the animated series.
There is also an emotional realisation that he is no longer at the peak of his health and that he will one day be completely unable to fend for himself. That is a very dark and depressing experience for someone to come to grips with. Trying to make a family-friendly version of this narrative would make a very inauthentic Batman film.
Aside from seeing an aged Bruce Wayne, there is also the journey that Terry takes to become Batman. He has to go through his own personal struggles and internal conflicts. He’s a teen set in his own ways, but if he wants to carry the mantle of the caped crusader, he needs to be willing to learn from Bruce and take his training seriously.
He has to grow up and accept the huge responsibility of keeping the city safe and be committed to a lifestyle of fighting and sacrificing personal desires in order to stay vigilant. Every hero goes through wins and losses. With that in mind, the portrayal of this film would have been heavy and dark and it would have been very interesting to see how this film would have turned out, had it been given the green light.
Could you have seen Clint Eastwood as a live-action Bruce Wayne? Do you think there’s still a chance some version of Batman Beyond could get made? Let us know in the comments below.