Similar to its original series, Batman Beyond also excelled in flawlessly depicting the aftermath of Bruce Wayne’s retirement, and exploring the journey of young Terry McGinnis.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Joker in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

The animated show debuted in 1999, continuing the story from Batman: The Animated Series, and featuring a whole new and futuristic Gotham City with Terry being trained by elderly Bruce Wayne to transform into the new Caped Crusader. Following the success of Batman Beyond, Warner Bros. Animation produced Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, bringing back the iconic duo of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the voices behind Batman and Joker.

The 2000 animated film directed by Curt Geda was well-received by fans and critics, for staying true to the dark tone, exciting narrative and how can we forget the perfect incorporation of the Clown Prince of Crime. There were plans to make a sequel to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, but the film was eventually canceled, and a new plot crafted for the scrapped film was later utilized by Justice League Unlimited.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Sequel’s Storyline Was Employed By Justice League Unlimited

The 1999 Batman Beyond is lauded as one of the most engaging animated series from the DC Animated Universe, for perfectly handling Batman’s main adversary the Joker. After the animated series concluded, Bruce Timm along with the other two writers helped Warner Bros. in creating an engaging storyline for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker which came out in 2000.

Also Read: Batman Beyond’s Original ‘White Collar Crime’ Story Idea Was Against Everything Batman: The Animated Series Stood for

Left for dead
A scene from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

Also Read: Despite Batman Beyond Movie Cancelation, Terry McGinnis Still Has a Way to Make His DC Comeback

Following the positive reception of Geda’s film, there were discussions and plans for a sequel to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The major twist fans and viewers loved in the first film was how Joker’s true identity was revealed, as it turned out he wasn’t the original Clown Prince of Crime but Tim Drake. However, the plan for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker 2 was not to focus on Joker but on Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.

The sequel’s original storyline was to introduce Catwoman as the leading villain and her involvement in Terry McGinnis’ birth. According to CBR., the first film couldn’t earn the expected amount for Warner Bros., and as a result, it was scrapped. Following the cancellation of the sequel, the initial plotline in which it’s revealed that Terry is actually the clone of Bruce Wayne, and Catwoman is his mother, was utilized by another TV show Justice League Unlimited which premiered in 2004.

Justice League Unlimited Season 2 Disclosed Terry McGinnis’ Biological Father

Justice League Unlimited did feature Catwoman, but her part was comparatively less, as she wasn’t portrayed as the main villain. But some part of the idea of the scrapped Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker 2 was utilized in the show’s season 2.

Batman Beyond
Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond

Also Read: DC Animation Cult-Hit Team Teen Titans Reportedly Getting a Live-Action Movie

In Justice League Unlimited Season 2’s final episode titled Epilogue, Terry finds out that Bruce Wayne is his biological father, and this plot helps tie the loose ends of the animated series. However, the episode didn’t include Catwoman anywhere, as it solely focused on the young Caped Crusader and Amanda Waller discovering Terry’s origin.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is available on Max.

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