Longtime Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy says fans were “not happy” seeing him portray a serial killer version of Bruce Wayne in Crisis on Infinite Earths, a television crossover spanning The CW’s Arrowverse and the DC Comics multiverse. In his first appearance as a live-action Bruce Wayne, the Batman: The Animated Series star played the Batman of Earth-99, an alternate reality mostly rid of this darker Dark Knight’s rogues’ gallery. A spin on the gruff octogenarian Conroy voiced in the future-set Batman Beyond, this Bruce Wayne went on a killing spree before his “reign of terror” was ended by a fatal encounter with Batwoman (Ruby Rose).
“The fans were not happy about that. They didn’t like seeing that version of Bruce Wayne,” Conroy said on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast. “But for me it was fun, it was a lot of fun to sort of stretch my acting chops a little bit.”
Conroy told his former Justice League and Justice League Unlimited co-star he knew nothing about this Batman except that he was older, only learning later that this Bruce Wayne was left mangled after killing his world’s Superman.
“They didn’t tell me anything about the Batman. They just said he was the Batman in the future, an old Bruce Wayne,” Conroy said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Admitting he was “nervous” playing a Batman in live-action, Conroy’s version saw the aged crusader supported by a Kingdom Come-influenced exoskeleton suit that he uses to attack Supergirl (Melissa Benoist).
“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,” Conroy said with a laugh. “So it was full of surprises. I didn’t know I was going to try and kill Supergirl. He was dark. He was dark.”
Asked if he hopes to play another live-action Batman, Conroy said, “I would love to.”
“The producer was great, the cast, Ruby Rose, everybody was fantastic, wonderful to work with,” he said. “But they do like a movie a week. It’s a massive undertaking.”
In January, Conroy told ComicBook.com he also hopes to reunite with Will Friedle for future episodes of Batman Beyond.
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