During San-Diego Comic Con this summer, the CW announced that Brandon Routh would play Superman in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Routh plays Ray Palmer on Legends of Tomorrow, but he also portrayed Superman in 2006’s Superman Returns. Well, a new promo picture for the Batwoman hour of the Crisis crossover reveals that Kevin Conroy plays the Kingdom Come version of Bruce Wayne. While the Arrowverse goes their own way often when adapting comics stories, this suggests a little bit about the role Conroy will play. It also might suggest whether or not we’ll get to see him suited up in any sort of Bat-costume. (Though, TV rights for Batman are tricky.)
In a new interview, Conroy talked about the challenges of playing Bruce Wayne in live-action. Sure, he’s voiced the character for nearly three decades. He is the voice of Batman the Animated Series, appeared in a number of other DC animated properties as the Dark Knight, and served as the actor for Batman in three of the four Arkham series of games. Still, this marks the first time Kevin Conroy will play Bruce Wayne with more than just his voice. He also revealed that even though he played “old Batman” in Batman Beyond, this version of the character is not that one. While he doesn’t confirm that it’s the Bruce Wayne from Kingdom Come he’s playing, a crossover promo photo offers a huge clue. Potential spoilers for the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover below.
Why We Think Kevin Conroy is the Kingdom Come Bruce Wayne in the Crisis Crossover
Image via DC
We already know that Brandon Routh is playing the Kingdom Come version of Superman. A new detail was only recently confirmed, however. Routh is also considered to be the canonical Superman of the Christopher Reeve films. In the comic book version of the story, the world had Superman, Batman, and the rest of the Justice League for decades. Superman was older, but Bruce Wayne aged out of his role. In Kingdom Come, Bruce Wayne wore an elaborate back brace, his body broken after years of being a crimefighter. In the promo picture below, Kevin Conroy appears as Bruce Wayne in the crossover, wearing a very similar apparatus around his neck. Also, since Batman can’t really appear on the CW because of rights, this could be a workaround for that.
In the comic, Bruce Wayne and Superman are at odds because Superman becomes despotic. He still fights crime in Gotham, using drone robots rather than his own body. But his arc in the story puts him at odds with Superman. So, if Kevin Conroy is playing a version of The Kingdom Come Bruce Wayne in the Crisis crossover, that dynamic likely remains. That means that after the window closed on the universe with the first Superman films, a Justice League arose. That Superman had his Batman, and he looked and sounded like Kevin Conroy.
Image via CW
Conroy didn’t confirm this, of course. Rather he spoke about his co-stars, which primarily seem to be Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl and Ruby Rose’s Batwoman.
He told Entertainment Weekly:
“I never approached this character from that physicalized aspect. I always just inhabited him with my voice. When you do that in a recording studio, it’s a very intimate experience and you’re sort of living in your own imagination…. To actually be on the set, in the physical world, and to be walking as the character and inhabiting the character in three dimensions, it was a real transition for me…. I was surprised because I know the character so well.
“Everybody was so generous to work with. I can’t emphasize how enough how welcoming everyone was, especially Ruby. She is so open and giving. I just fell into her eyes at one point and we just connected on camera. It was wonderful…. I felt like I was working with old friends I’d known for years. There was just such trust there that I could open up to them on camera.”
The Kingdom Come version of Bruce Wayne eventually suited up as Batman. Kevin Conroy is not likely to do so in the crossover. Still, it sounds like we’ll get a powerful story about these two old frienemies. And with a classic Batman actor finally embodying the role.
The event starts on Sunday December 8th. Check out our guide to all the Crisis on Infinite Earths episodes, so you don’t miss one!
Are you excited to see Kevin Conroy bring the Kingdom Come version of Bruce Wayne to life in the Crisis crossover? Share your thoughts, reactions, and ways you’d work Batman into the story in the comments below.
Featured image via CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.