Batman is an old, old man: the character will have existed in one form or another for 74 years come May. Many different actors, from Christian Bale to George Clooney to Adam West, have played Batman over the years, but if any one real person has been as consistently connected to the character as Bruce Wayne, it’s Kevin Conroy. The actor has voiced Batman for more than two decades, but it appears that he won’t be playing the Dark Knight in Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Batman: Arkham Origins.
Fan website Batman News reported on Sunday that according to the May issue of South African game magazine NAG, Conroy won’t be reprising his role from Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Asylum. As the game is the story of a younger Bruce Wayne, Warner Bros. reportedly wanted a younger actor to fill the role this time out. NAG was not able to confirm who the new actor is.
Kevin Conroy’s first outing as Batman was in the 1992 cartoon Batman: The Animated Series and he’s played the role in almost every cartoon and video game featuring the character since, from the Justice League and Batman Beyond cartoon series to this month’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. It’s not just Conroy, though; the entire voice cast of Batman: The Animated Series has consistently played their roles in a variety of media over the past two decades. Tara Strong, the voice of Harley Quinn for example, reprised her role from the cartoon in Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us just like Conroy.
Some of those performers have backed away from their iconic roles, though. Mark Hamill had been the voice of the Joker from 1992 all the way through 2011’s Batman: Arkham City, but he retired after the game’s release. He was replaced by voice actor Richard Epcar in Injustice.
While WBIE has yet to comment on Conroy’s sitting out Arkham Origins, the choice makes sense and it’s hardly confirmation that Conroy is giving up the character for good. Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ have gone down this road before, and in 2011’s animated Batman: Year One that depicted the early days of Batman, Southland actor Ben McKenzie voiced the younger Bruce Wayne instead of Conroy.