Kevin Conroy, a name that has become synonymous with the voice of Batman since 1992, returns again to voice the Dark Knight Detective in Batman and Harley Quinn. While the debate rages on between who the best live-action Batman is between Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck (it’s all a matter of taste and personal preference), Conroy is unquestionably the king of his voice.
In a recent interview with Hey U Guys, Conroy discussed his newest Batman adventure, spoke a little more on his comments regarding Batfleck, as well as discussed the future of the what seems to be in disarray DCEU.
With a quarter century of voicing the character under his belt from TV Shows through video games, when asked about what drew him to Batman and Harley Quinn he says,
“The fact it was going to feature Harley Quinn was really unusual and I love that. She’s the fourth most popular animated character now and the audience lovers her; she’s crazy! So, to do a film with Batman and Harley Quinn, I thought that would be a blast. That was the primary draw and I knew there would be humor in it. It’s always fun to play different aspects of a character and I don’t get to explore the humorous side of Batman very often; he’s a very dark, rooted, grounded guy. To be able to play humorous scenes with Melissa Rauch (Harley Quinn) was a lot of fun.”
In regards to how popular Harley has become over the years, originating from the very show that Conroy debuted as Batman, he thinks it has a lot to do with the popularity of the Joker. “Before Harley Quinn, the only foil for the Joker was Batman. The Joker defines Batman and Batman defines the Joker.” Conroy explains that Harley got to reflect the craziness of the Joker, so the better the Joker got the better Harley became.
Moving over to the live-actions films, last month Conroy said that he thought that Ben Affleck was the best live-action version of the character, and he elaborated more on those comments.
“I said that and it’s been kind of amplified. I said it in addition to saying that everyone’s is valid and that I like Michael Keaton, I like Christian Bale…I like them all! The one thing that Ben Affleck did better than anyone is he got the balance between Batman and Bruce Wayne. There were two personas there and each of the actors have gotten one or the other really good; some people are better as Bruce Wayne, some are better as Batman. Ben Affleck, uniquely I think, was good at both and he did a really good job of it. I just think Ben Affleck got the balance of both characters better than any of them.”
Hard to argue with Conroy here, since Affleck was widely regarded as the best part of Batman v Superman and left many fans, myself included, excited to see his legend grow in Justice League and hopefully beyond. However, with recent rumors of Affleck’s time possibly coming to an end under the cape and cowl, don’t start campaigning for Conroy to finally make the live-action leap. He says “at this point, I’d have to be old Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond or something like that”, which he ironically did do the voice of.
Speaking of voice actors making the leap to live-action, Mark Hamill has Conroy’s vote to take up the role of the Joker in the newly announced Joker origin film.
“I think that will be a really interesting film. There is an episode of Batman: The Animated Series which dealt with that and told that story. It’s really interesting. I had not heard they were doing a film version of it but I hope that Mark gets it!”
Of course, Hamill is a bit past his physical prime to be playing a young version of the Joker in an origin film, though I guess they could make the whole film a flashback with an older Joker? Either way, he’ll most likely be too busy reprising his role of Luke Skywalker to complete the sequel Star Wars trilogy with Episode IX.
Finally, with yesterday being the 8 year anniversary of Batman: Arkham Asylum blowing the video game world away and ending in 2015’s Arkham Knight, Conroy was asked if he was disappointed to see the series end or if he thought it was the right time to end the story.
“I loved the way they finished the trilogy. I loved acting it as that was a real challenge for me. I was really proud of the performance. I thought dramatically, they were brilliant. Unfortunately, I couldn’t believe it was over. I just couldn’t’ believe they weren’t going to do more. I know the audience has been screaming for more, but they’re not. I don’t know how they could after the way that trilogy ended and I hoped they would figure out a way to have it segway into another game but they’re not going to. I thought the trilogy ended brilliantly.”
Much like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, I agree it was the right time to end the story. End the story the way you want to end it and leave it at that, no need to drive it into the ground. My only pet peeve with Conroy’s comment is it’s not a trilogy. Arkham Origins is part of the saga, as well. Though, Conroy not voicing the Batman in that probably makes it slip his mind.
Fans can see (listen?) Conroy return as the voice of the Caped Crusader in Batman and Harley Quinn, out now on digital platforms, coming to Blu-ray and DVD August 28th.