Many have long argued that Kevin Conroy is the best Batman. Not Christian Bale, not Michael Keaton, not Ben Affleck — legions of Bat fans say that Conroy’s voice work as the Caped Crusader in multiple iterations (Batman: The Animated Series, countless direct-to-DVD films, the Arkham games) is the most authentic, faithful and best-performed take on the iconic character. Many have even stated they want to see Conroy play Batman in the flesh, not just lending his voice but his body as well.
They’ve got their wish. Well, kind of. The CW has revealed that Conroy WILL play Batman. Well, he’ll play Bruce Wayne. He’ll be portraying an aged Wayne for the ever-growing CW television event Crisis on Infinite Earths, the ambitious crossover spectacle that’ll take place over all the DC shows on The CW. We don’t know much more about Conroy’s casting, just that he’ll be playing an older Bruce Wayne. The news was announced at the Television Critic Association’s event this weekend. You can practically hear the hearts of many Batman fans skipping a beat.
Casting Conroy as an aged Wayne follows the news of Brandon Routh being cast as an alternate-universe Superman. It’s inspired casting by The CW and a huge wink and nod to audiences, who will surely eat this up. Crisis takes place in multiple universes so it allows The CW to make these sort of fun, daring casting choices. The show hasn’t even aired yet but it already feels fun. It’s going to be more than just a TV event, it’s going to be a celebration of these characters, the actors who have portrayed them in various formats and the fans who have loved them.
This is a brilliant move but also a smart casting choice because Conroy really has done tremendous work as Batman over the years. He’s been restricted to only being a voice but he’s delivered time and time again. He and Mark Hamill personified Batman and the Joker for many, many Batman fans. To see Conroy get the respect and role he’s long-deserved will bring pure joy to many DC fanatics. It also makes you wonder where this story will go. Will we be getting a Batman Beyond storyline, another dream that fans have always longed for? I wouldn’t put it past The CW, they seem to be doing this thing right.