The CW’s upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover is set to be the biggest in the Arrowverse’s history. For longtime fans of DC, there are a ton of treats. Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh both appear as Superman (the latter portraying the Man of Steel from the Kingdom Come timeline) and Batman ’66 alum Burt Ward and Smallville’s Tom Welling are getting in on the action, too. But what I’m most looking forward to is that after 27 years of lending his voice to Batman, Kevin Conroy will finally be appearing on screen as Bruce Wayne in live-action.
As we now know, he’s playing Kingdom Come Bruce Wayne, which adapts the version seen in Alex Ross’ classic miniseries. This is an older version of the character who’s given up being Batman due to injury, relying on a high tech back brace to get around. This doesn’t mean his war on crime is over, though, as he’s developed and deployed Batman robots to keep the peace in Gotham. The thing is, this version of Bruce Wayne sounds very similar to the version he voiced on the excellent Diniverse series Batman Beyond.
The similarity hasn’t escaped Conroy, either, who was recently asked whether he’d want to play the role in a live-action Batman Beyond show and said:
“Wouldn’t that be awesome? That would be so awesome. 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.”
It’s criminal that DC and Warner Bros. haven’t done more with Batman Beyond, which is essentially a mashup of Spider-Man and Batman…in the future. One of the best bits of the show is seeing how Bruce Wayne copes with old age and him moving into a mentor role for a new Dark Knight. Conroy’s absolutely perfect in the role, too, taking his gravelly Bats voice to a new roughness. So, let’s hope he gets his wish and has a chance to reprise the part one day in live-action.