21 August 2011

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batmans That Never Were

Updated 21 Aug 2011

Plans for another potential Batman animated series to debut in 2012 or 2013 have crumbled into a million shattered dreams. This series would have featured Nightwing as well as Cassandra Cain and Damian Wayne as Batgirl and Robin, but it made the mistake of being too dark. Huh!? Bat Mite would not be happy.
According to character designer Coran Stone  at Deviant Art,

So James the Terrifically talented Tucker producer of "The Brave and Bold" series was starting work on the new Bat show and decided to take a chance on the new guy....Me! So I became character designer. I was floored as **** and had a ton of ideas for the darknight and fellers so I spent about 4 or 5 monthes cranking out a ton of of batty shizz! I did way more than any man should ever do and worked sometimes two nights straight without sleep on that stuff.

This is the sucky part> Unfortunately one of the heads at cartoon network felt that the concept was to dark and it got scraped. I of course thought that sucked ass but (back to good stuff) at the same time felt happy as hell that I had the one and a mill chance to work on a Bats series. Twas fun as hell!

This is one out of many things I've done for the show. Show yah more laters

This is bad news since this concept looks amazing and it would given some of the lesser known and more recent Bat-family member s some screen times. Also, who wouldn't appreciate a dark Batman. Even though light Batman worked with Brave and the Bold, it can also go horribly awry. The good news, I guess, is that another pitch for another Batman will probably get a greenlight and in the meantime, we've got Young Justice and Green Lantern. Mayeb we will get Gotham High after all...

Updated 07 Jan 2011 with Info on Gotham High, an animated series.

Information just popped up at jeffandceleste.blogspot.com about a series that got pitched in 2009 called Gotham High. This is how it was described:

We all go through incredible changes as teenagers: growth spurts, bad skin, a sudden insatiable need to uphold justice and avenge your murdered parents…. Well, that is if you’re Bruce Wayne.

As if being a freshman at Gotham High wasn’t tough enough, Bruce’s insomnia and technological fascinations are taking their toll. Instead of spending his time studying, he has begun to obsess over an emerging personality trait: Batman. But under the watchful eye of his guardian and steward, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce is forced to put his intelligence to good use: graduating high school. But given his classmates, can Bruce survive Gotham High?

The series didn't get a greenlight

In spite of Batman's prolific on screen history, over the years there have been quite a few Batman pitches that never quite materialized. Here are some of the highlights.

Film follow-ups to Batman and Robin:

Batman Triumphant

So confident in Batman and Robin, the Brothers Warner had already begun work on a sequel. Just imagine how many toys this movie would have sold! The 1999 movie, Batman Triumphant, would have featured Scarecrow and Harley Quinn and a resurrected Joker. The B&R flop shelved this idea.

Batman: DarKnight

The studio next pursued a darker and grittier project wittily titled DarKnight. In this movie, Batman gave up his crime fighting and Robin went to college. Scarecrow and Man-bat would appear and Gothamites would believe the Man-Bat to be a vengeful Batman. To clear his name Batman returned.

Bruce Wayne 

A script was written for a pilot to a TV series based on the adventures of a young Bruce Wayne in 2000. Although the series was planned out for five or six seasons, developers instead pursued the idea of a series featuring a young Clark Kent  (who was to be a guest star on the Bruce Wayne series) giving birth to Smallville.

Batman Beyond / Batman: Year One

Instead of this route, the studio next decided to try out a take on an adaptation of the animated series Batman Beyond. The fickle studio quickly decided instead of going to the distant future of Batman they would return to the origins with Batman: Year One. This reboot would have made quite a few changes to the mythology and may have garnered an R rating.

Batman vs. Superman

The next flavor of the week was a Batman vs Superman film. Why reboot one franchise when you can get two for the same price. The limbo of both franchises made this an appealing idea. In the movie a recovering from depression Batman would be coping with the deaths of Alfred and Robin and moving on by getting hitched. At the same time Clark Kent would be going through a divorce from Lois Lane. At Batman's wedding, the Joker would kill the bride and Batman would seek revenge. Supes would get in the way. Turns out Lex Luthor was behind the whole thing and Bats and Supes would team up to defeat Lexy Baby. This too never came to be... But after Batman Begins release, I think its safe to say it was worth the wait.

A couple of animated Batman projects were also canned before coming to fruition (thanks be to Legions of Gotham for the images):

Batman Asylum

After Sub-Zero, Batman Asylum began production as a DtV. Some cool looking designs were made. I believe, in lieu of the canned Asylum project we were given the impressive Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Perhaps a good trade?

Batman Vs. Hush

Batman Vs. Hush was supposed to be a animated follow-up to Batman Vs. Dracula. Perhaps part of a whole Batman Vs line of DTVs. As the Dracula movie was one of the highlights of the whole The Batman era, this may have had some promise. But alas.

Up Next: Batman Begins

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