Batman ‘89 sequel will adapt parts of a canceled DC film

Christopher Baggett
Batman '89 Echoes variant

A sequel to Batman ’89, Batman ’89: Echoes, has been announced by DC Comics, and it’s using elements from a canceled Batman and Robin sequel for the story.

Batman ‘89 had a long road to becoming a comic. Though it was released in 2021, the comic was first revealed in 2016 when teaser art was shared by artist Joe Quinones. 

While Quinones revealed that pitch was rejected at the time, DC Comics eventually greenlit the story. Batman ’89 was a sequel to Batman Returns and made use of many aborted plot threads from the first two films. 

In Batman ‘89, Harvey Dent, depicted as Billy Dee Williams, turns into Two-Face and a young man depicted as Marlon Wayans eventually becomes Robin. Now it looks like a sequel is set to continue the trend by picking up notes from a canceled Batman film. 

Batman ‘89: Echoes uses Batman and Robin’s canceled sequel as inspiration

Exclusively revealed by Comic Book, Batman ‘89: Echoes sees Batman missing after the death of Harvey Dent. With Gotham in turmoil, a new villain – the Scarecrow – rises. The cover for #1 also features a curious tease, with a woman with a pale face and a familiar smile looming in the distance. 

It all sounds like the story is taking notes from Batman Triumphant, which makes sense.

The film was meant to be a massive celebration of the franchise. The planned film would have included the debut of Harley Quinn, who would have been the Joker’s daughter, and the arrival of the Scarecrow. 

Triumphant was canceled in pre-production following the dismal performance of Batman and Robin. However, rumors and studio notes indicate a number of names being considered for roles, including Madonna as Harley Quinn and Jeff Goldblum as Scarecrow – who Quinones appears to have modeled this version after in art he shared on Twitter. 

Batman '89 alongside Scarecrow and a woman believed to be Harley Quinn
Batman ’89: Echoes #1 cover by Joe Quinones

It seems that Batman ’89: Echoes will be following a similar trend by adapting these plot points that would have been included in the cancelled Batman Triumph.

Batman ‘89 used story beats from Batman and Batman ‘89 that went unused. These included Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face (Wiliams, who appeared in Batman and Batman Returns, was replaced for a very different take in Batman Forever) and the arrival of Robin (Marlon Wayans was cast as Robin for Batman Returns but was famously cut after being cast.)

Today, the canceled Batman Triumph is perhaps best known now for a scripted sequence including a massive Scarecrow hallucination, which would have seen the return of every villain from the Batman franchise – including Jack Nicholson’s legendary Joker.

It’s possible both Harley Quinn and a fear-gas-induced Joker could be showing up in Batman ‘89: Echoes, but it’s yet to be confirmed. The first issue will be released on November 28.

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