For multiple generations, the most perfect Batman actor of all time is Kevin Conroy, who voiced the Dark Knight in the legendary Batman: The Animated Series, and reprised the part in many subsequent cartoons and games. Unfortunately, Conroy’s live-action debut in the role of an evil Bruce Wayne from another dimension in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover special did not go over well with some fans, as the actor explained during an episode of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast.
“The fans were not happy about that. They didn’t like seeing that version of Bruce Wayne. But for me it was fun, it was a lot of fun to sort of stretch my acting chops a little bit. They didn’t tell me anything about the Batman. They just said he was the Batman in the future, an old Bruce Wayne. I said, ‘You mean like in Batman Beyond old Bruce Wayne?’ They said, ‘No, he’s not 80. But he’s older and he’s in bad shape.’ They’re so guarded with their scripts, the studios, they don’t give them out. So they didn’t give me anything. I got the script basically when I was about to get on a plane to fly to Vancouver to do the show, I hadn’t seen anything. I said yes because I was so excited to do something on camera again [after] 25 years.”
Fans had long been clamoring to have Kevin Conroy play a live-action version of Batman in a show or movie. When news of the actor’s guest role in the Crisis crossover special was announced, fans rejoiced, thinking Conroy was going to play the role of an older Bruce Wayne from the Batman Beyond universe.
Instead, Conroy was seen playing a Batman who has finally snapped and gone over the edge, killing his enemies and also a few allies as his sanity slips. To add to the ignominy, the episode ends with Conroy’s Batman being killed by his younger cousin Kate Kane aka Gotham’s new protector Batwoman, who takes his place as one of the seven paragons of the ArrowVerse.
Naturally, many fans felt such a storyline was disrespectful to the legacy of Kevin Conroy’s Batman and took to social media to voice their grievances. While the actor understands the reason for their complaints, he maintains that his own experience working on the episode was positive, despite the ‘suit of armor’ costume he was put in for his scenes.
“I was in this suit of armor that was an external spine because his back had been broken by Superman. And I didn’t know that was going to happen. So it was full of surprises. I didn’t know I was going to try and kill Supergirl. He was dark. He was dark. The producer was great, the cast, Ruby Rose, everybody was fantastic, wonderful to work with. But they do like a movie a week. It’s a massive undertaking.”