2019 not only marks the 80th anniversary of Batman, but also the 20th anniversary of the popular DC animated series Batman Beyond. Series co-creator and DCAU architect Bruce Timm has now revealed details regarding a scrapped sequel to the series' spinoff film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
At the Batman Beyond 20th anniversary panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Timm gave fans an idea of what the follow-up to Return of the Joker would have featured, including a big twist regarding series protagonist Terry McGinnis.
"Catwoman was going to be our leading villain in the second movie," said Timm. "She was the one who cloned Bruce Wayne to create Terry, but that was going to be our big surprise in our next movie." This idea would later be repurposed, as Return of the Joker did not sell well enough to justify moving forward on the sequel.
From how Timm describes things, it seems Catwoman would have played a role in Terry's very existence had the movie been produced. The revelation of Terry being a partial clone of Bruce would eventually be explored in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue." However, Catwoman was not involved in that story. It also seems like Selina Kyle may not have had noble intentions in cloning Bruce, seeing as how she apparently would have been the movie's antagonist.
Return of the Joker was released on home video in December of 2000, while the main Batman Beyond series was in the midst of its third season. Considered by many fans to be one of the darkest Batman features to date, the film follows the still-living and much more dangerous Joker as he wreaks havoc on Neo-Gotham 35 years after supposedly perishing in his final battle with Bruce. It falls upon Terry to solve the mystery of the Clown Prince of Crime's return and stop him once and for all.