Crisis on Infinite Earths will premiere soon, which is awesome and terrifying and sure to leave us all emotional wrecks on the floor. That aside, it’s also super exciting for fans who love DC animation.
Why? Because Kevin freaking Conroy is going to play a live-action, older version of Bruce Wayne in the crossover event. Who is Kevin Conroy, you ask? Batman. He’s Batman. He voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series and went on to voice him over 500 times during his career.
The man is Batman. Period.
Now he’s playing him in live-action and we’re so excited.
Talking with Entertainment Weekly, Conroy dropped hints about his version of Bruce Wayne in the crossover.
How does his older version of Bruce differ from the elderly one that he played on Batman Beyond? Surprisingly, this version of Bruce is darker. Or well, it’s a different darkness.
“In this, I explore a lot of [the] dark corners of Bruce Wayne. But they’re different than the ones I explored on Batman Beyond.”
As for performing Batman on camera versus behind-the-scenes, Conroy admitted there was a bit of an adjustment for him.
“I never approached this character from that physicalized aspect. I always just inhabited him with my voice. When you do that in a recording studio, it’s a very intimate experience and you’re sort of living in your own imagination. You do it with your eyes clothes and you’re in this other world, and you have Mark Hamill feeding you all the energy you [need], and the other actors (because we always recorded together in the booths). To actually be on the set, in the physical world, and to be walking as the character and inhabiting the character in three dimensions, it was a real transition for me. It did take a while to get used to, I have to admit. I was surprised because I know the character so well.”
Apparently, he has several scenes with Ruby Rose (Batwoman) and Melissa Benoist (Supergirl). He credits both of them for helping him transition into the live-action role. He said Benoist was “amazing” to work with and Rose was “so open and giving”.
“I felt like I was working with old friends I’d known for years. There was just such trust there that I could open up to them on camera.”
Producer Marc Guggenheim gushed on the gravitas that Conroy brought to the performance.
“He is stupendous. He is Bruce Wayne. [It’s] just a lot of fun to see this actor who we all mainly know from voice work being on camera. It was really exciting.”
As for getting Conroy on Crisis, Guggenheim said it was part of a dream he had and part of conversations with Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner Keto Shimizu.
“One of the things that was always on my bucket list is that I wanted to see old Bruce Wayne. We talked about a variety of different casting possibilities, but [Legends of Tomorrow showrunner] Keto Shimizu, who is a huge animated Batman fan, pointed out that Kevin is the right age. We reached out to Kevin and he couldn’t have been more lovely and more game for it.”
Crisis on Infinite Earths begins with Sunday, Dec. 8 with Supergirl followed by Batwoman on Monday, Dec. 9 and The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The crossover concludes on Tuesday, Jan. 14 with Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.