Legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy would love to return to the world of Batman Beyond in a live-action series set in the Arrowverse. The actor said as much on social media today, replying to a fan that suggested the idea of bringing the fan-favorite animated series (which ran from 1999 until 2001) to The CW following Conroy's appearance in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" last week. In "Crisis," be played a dark version of Batman (from Earth-99) who had been driven over the edge and started killing villains -- which eventually escalated to killing heroes who disagreed with his brutal methods, including Superman.
In Batman Beyond, the story was significantly less dark: after a year of beating himself up by leaping around rooftops as the Dark Knight, Batman hung up the cape and cowl. Years later, he took on a young ward (Terry McGinnis, voiced by Will Friedle), who would bring Batman back to Gotham for a new generation.
"I would love that," Conroy told the fan who suggested it -- which isn't a huge surprise, since he already told ComicBook.com that he would love to take another swing at playing Bruce Wayne in live action.
"Wouldn’t that be awesome? That would be so awesome," Conroy said when we proposed a return trip to the Arrowverse. "I was thinking that as I was doing this, that I’m kind of inhabiting Old Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond. He’s not that old — Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond is like 80. He’s not that old in this but he is as limited in his ability to be physical in this. He’s not fully able-bodied. In that sense he’s like Old Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. And I was using the voice, actually, from Old Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond. I was thinking, it would be great to do that. I would love it.”
Of course, if he were to do Batman Beyond, they might have to find a new role for Friedle, who is now too old to play a teen/young-20s Terry McGinnis.
"I'm hoping the next version they write is called 44-year-old, slightly-out-of-shape Terry McGinnis," Friedle told me (with a laugh) at New York Comic Con in October. "And if they do that, I could nail that part tomorrow, where it's like he could run for a bit, but needs to stop because he's winded? That would be great. But no, I doin't see it happening. Every day on Twitter, I get, 'Are you doing the live-action crossover?' It'd be great, but I think I'm probably past my window to play Terry."
Ironically, after having voiced Bruce Wayne and Batman in numerous projects over three decades, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" represented the first time Conroy ever set foot in the Batcave. For the man who many fans view as the best Batman ever to hit the screen, it was an exciting and disorienting experience.
"When you do the voice for a character for 27 years, you sort of inhabit him from within in a sound booth, which is like a cocoon," Conroy explained. "It's very liberating to be in a sound booth. When you're suddenly on a sound stage, you're with the other actors in a set, with the crew all around you and the script people, and the hair and the makeup people, and the lighting and the booms, the sound people. There's dozens and dozens of people around you, and you're inhabiting the character in three dimensions in front of 50 people. It's different. It's a totally different experience and I felt very vulnerable, very exposed. I had an advantage over the live-action actors playing Bruce Wayne in the comfort of a recording studio. To do it on camera is much harder and it was challenging."1comments
The "Crisis" event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes. The battle brings together together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
The first three episodes are available now, for free, on The CW app and CW Seed. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will conclude on January 14.