Despite the large number of Batman and Superman films, it seems like we keep getting the same stories over and over. We feel like it’s time for Warner Bros. to look at its animated projects for new content.
Beginning with Batman: The Animated Series, the DC animated universe has given fans some of the most unique and compelling superhero stories ever. If the studio is looking for a way to set itself apart from the competition, this is it. With that in mind, these are five DC animated universe stories we want in live-action and five we don’t.
10 DON’T WANT: JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS
While we love a good Elseworlds story as much as the next person, Justice League: Gods and Monsters may have been a little too different. In this universe, Batman was vampire Kirk Langstrom, Wonder Woman is Bekka (the daughter of a New God), and Superman is Hernan Guerra, the son of Zod.
Though it’s a fascinating version of the trinity, and compelling to see what would happen if they ruled instead of saving people, we don’t think this story would work in live-action form. It’s just too unfamiliar to casual superhero movie fans.
9 WANT: BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT
At this point, we’ve gotten every possible Batman story on the big screen, so maybe Warner Bros. should mix things up with this cool Victorian, steampunk Gotham City. Rich playboy Bruce Wayne still moonlights as Batman, but this time around, he’s trying to catch Jack the Ripper.
It has plenty of classic Batman elements and characters, so it’s instantly recognizable, but would be completely new, compared to other Batman films. This would be a big risk, that could come with a big reward.
8 DON’T WANT: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER
Don’t get us wrong, we really enjoyed The New Frontier, but some stories are best told in animated form. This story of how the various members of the team come together is set during WWII and features a cavalcade of heroes fighting an alien invasion from dinosaur-like creatures.
It’s fun to watch, and the voice cast is great, but it’s the kind of movie that just couldn’t be made in live-action. One of the reasons we love the animated universe is that it gives us stories we wouldn’t otherwise get, and this is a prime example.
7 WANT: ALL-STAR SUPERMAN
Between film and television, we’ve seen most of the major Superman stories make their way to a live-action format, except All-Star Superman. After absorbing too much solar radiation during a battle, Superman doesn’t have much time left to live. We watch as he spends time with Lois, saves the Earth a few times and defeats Lex Luthor one last time.
Written by the legendary Dwayne McDuffie, it’s a truly vulnerable version of Superman we don’t often get to see. This would make an amazing limited series, where each episode features one of the adventures he goes on before he turns into energy and flies into the sun.
6 DON’T WANT: SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES
One of the best aspects of the animated universe is how it examines Batman and Superman's friendship. In Public Enemies, President Lex Luthor frames the pair and puts a $1 billion bounty on them. They go on the run to clear their names and also save the world from a coming meteor.
As much fun as it is to see the two team up, the story feels disjointed and unrealistic. We find it hard to believe that, president or not, the whole world would trust Lex Luthor over Superman and Batman. It’s not the superheroes’ best work together.
5 WANT: STATIC SHOCK
A character that we haven’t got to see nearly enough of is Static Shock. Black teenager Virgil Hawkins uses his electromagnetic powers to help Dakota City. Virgil is such a great character because he’s a normal high school kid, who isn’t portrayed as a stereotype.
News recently broke that The CW wants another Arrowverse series, and Static would be a great addition to the franchise. It’s been established that Black Lightning is a mentor for him, so there’s already a way into the universe.
4 DON’T WANT: BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE
It’s no secret that The Killing Joke is the most controversial Batman story. Though its aftermath delivered an amazing character arc for Barbara Gordon, the violence she suffered sparked a discussion of how female heroes are treated.
This version added a convoluted, unnecessary romance between her and Bruce, a plot that became a serious bone of contention among fans. The film minimized Barbara and it’s not a story we need to revisit in any way, shape, or form.
3 WANT: BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
Jason Todd didn’t start out as a beloved character. In fact, fans actually voted for him to fall victim to the Joker. However, he became the comeback story of comics, when he returned as the vigilante Red Hood.
He returned to Gotham, using the techniques he learned from Batman, but showing criminals no mercy. He tried to push Bruce to finally take vengeance against the Joker, but he still wouldn’t break his one rule. We really want a hard R rated version of Jason’s story that examines the cost of being a superhero.
2 DON’T WANT: BATMAN: YEAR ONE
If we have to watch Bruce Wayne watch his parents get shot one more time, we may scream. By now, Batman’s origin has been well documented on the big screen. We really don’t need to walk through it again. Of course, rumors say that’s what we may be getting in the upcoming The Batman.
Batman: Year One follows Bruce during his first year as Batman, but honestly, it’s more about Jim Gordon’s marital problems and fight against a corrupt police department. With Batman Begins already considered a classic, there’s no place for this one in the live-action universe.
1 WANT: BATMAN BEYOND
If there’s one creation from the animated universe that fans can agree on, it’s that Batman Beyond needs to become a live-action TV series. The story of teenager Terry McGinnis, as he becomes the new Batman and protege to an older Bruce, quickly captivated viewers and became a fan favorite.
The president of The CW recently said the network was looking to expand its Arrowverse superhero franchise, and we think a futuristic Batman is the perfect piece to fit the puzzle. Its costumes, lingo, and setting will make it feel unique to the universe, while staying connected through the established time travel of The Flash and the Legends.