Season 2 of Titans has cast veteran actor Ian Glenn as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a move that creates the exciting possibility of a live-action Batman Beyond show on the DC Universe streaming service.
We already knew the Batman in Titans continuity was in the back half of his career, having fought crime for years and trained multiple Robins, but bringing in Ian Glen as the Caped Crusader gives us an idea of the billionaire vigilante’s actual age in the show. At age 57, Glen is the oldest actor to ever play Batman in live-action by a wide margin. Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman as a seasoned version of the World’s Greatest Detective happened when the actor was only in his early 40s, nearly a decade and a half younger than Glen.
While Glen’s Bruce Wayne will surely be portrayed as a few years younger than Glen’s actual age, it’s still a Batman that’s been fighting crime in Gotham for potentially 30 years, or at least close to it. While the traditional Batman timeline wouldn’t have Terry McGinnis replace Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight for another decade or two after the events of Titans, having Glen portray Batman puts them within reach of a broad range of older Batman ages. With the help of a little makeup, he could play a version of Batman anywhere from his late 40s to his early 70s. Batman’s older years are especially easy to flex, given Bruce Wayne works to maintain peak physical condition.
The DC Universe streaming service has been mining a number of properties for its live-action shows, from Titans to Doom Patrol to the upcoming Swamp Thing, and eventually Stargirl. So far, they’ve maintained a loose sense of continuity between Doom Patrol and Titans, so Batman Beyond is a perfect fit, especially since, for all intents and purposes, Ian Glen would likely be the only cast member from other shows that would need to appear.
With an older Batman already cast, the biggest concern of bringing a live-action Batman Beyond show to life is budget. Set in a futuristic neon noir world with a far more advanced Bat-suit, a Batman Beyond show could be a tricky proposition to pull off within DC Universe’s budget range, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Swamp Thing reportedly has a budget of around $85 million, and when you consider the quality of some low budget sci-fi movies like Upgrade, which takes place in a similar neon noir Blade Runner-esque aesthetic to Batman Beyond, was made for under $5 million, a Batman Beyond series doesn’t seem entirely out of reach.
It will certainly be curious to see what the DC Universe has in store for Ian Glen. As the oldest on-screen Batman yet, he opens the possibility for a number of older-Batman stories we haven’t been able to see in live-action.
NEXT: Doom Patrol Is A Hit – But It Can’t Beat Titans’ Popularity
Stephen M. Colbert