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Old Lady Catwoman could have been the villain of a second Batman Beyond movie

If only Return of the Joker had sold well

Batman Beyond
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The folks behind beloved cartoon series Batman Beyond had a big announcement for fans at the show’s 20th Anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year: An HD remaster of the full series, including the feature length film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

But they also had a fun insight for fans of Justice League Unlimited, specifically the infamous episode “Epilogue,” which has the stunning revelation that Terry McGinnis, the teenage lead of Batman Beyond, is — unbeknownst to either party— Bruce Wayne’s son.

“Epilogue,” which aired in 2005, explained that in her later career, the superhero-despising Amanda Waller realized that the presence of Batman — a baseline human — in the superhero community, was a vital force for keeping the Justice League grounded in mortal concerns. So, she set out to make sure there would always be a Batman, by *looks at notes* secretly stealing his DNA, secretly putting it in the sperm of a young Gotham newlywed, waiting until he had a son who was biologically Batman’s, and then trying to kill the son’s parents.

It’s... a weird plan.

According to producer Bruce Timm the idea of 2005’s “Epilogue” was in the making of Return of the Joker five years earlier. Timm and colleagues spent some time brainstorming further Batman Beyond movies, prepping for the possibility that the straight-to-video TV feature would sell well enough to garner a second. The most prominent of those ideas also involved the return of a classic villain, like Joker, and the reveal that, due to some secret genetic tampering, Bruce was Terry’s biological father.

Unfortunately, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker didn’t make a lot of money, and Timm and Co. were never able to produce their idea: The first appearance of the Catwoman of the Batman Beyond setting. Timm told the audience that they’d envisioned quite the grand old lady, as if “Anne Bancroft was Catwoman in her prime.”

And in this hypothetical Batman Beyond: Return of Catwoman, it’s Selina Kyle who would have orchestrated Terry’s conception, not Amanda Waller. Which, given her long romantic link with Bruce Wayne, feels a little less weird than Amanda Waller doing it.

Or is it more weird? Who knows. But I think we can all agree that a Batman Beyond Catwoman based on Anne Bancroft sounds awesome.