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Kevin Smith He-Man Cast Includes Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy

Netflix and Mattel Television today announced the all-star cast of the upcoming Netflix anime series, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a series based on He-Man, Skeletor, Teela and the other classic characters of the Masters of the Universe franchise. The series is being produced by Mattel Television with Adam Bonnett (Descendants), Christopher Keenan (Justice League, …

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Kevin Conroy About Faces On Violent Batman

Monday night saw part 2 air of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on The CW which saw the debut of Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Conroy played a murderous and ultra-violent version of Batman, one who actually murdered Superman, who was quickly taken out by Batwoman. Fans aren’t too happy with the portrayal, …

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Crisis On Infinite Earths: Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tom Welling, More Revealed

The CW has released a second batch of images for the upcoming Crisis On Infinite Earths mega-event crossover including a first look at Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, and pics featuring Tom Welling from Smallville, and more. The first batch of images can be found here. Additional images reveal Brandon Routh as both Clark Kent …

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Happy Batman Day From Matt Reeves

Happy Batman Day from director Matt Reeves! Today marks the fifth annual day celebrating DC’s Dark Knight which includes various cities around the world lighting up the Bat-signal. The Batman director Matt Reeves took to social media to celebrate the occasion by releasing an image of the Bat-Signal in London – albeit an older one …

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Crisis On Infinite Earths: Kevin Conroy Wants Mark Hamill as Joker

I’ve been saying all along that Crisis On Infinite Earths will be bigger than anyone thought, with it becoming known talks are underway with the various DC and movie actors and characters. Now with Kevin Conroy having been cast as a live-action Batman, the actor says he wants Mark Hamill as Joker. Mark Hamill as …

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Kevin Conroy Playing Batman On Crisis On Infinite Earths

Crisis On Infinite Earths continues its massive casting as Kevin Conroy joins the five-hour event series playing the live-action Bruce Wayne and the Batman from the future. Kevin Conroy is known for voicing Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Beyond, the Batman Arkham video games and lots more. Conroy confirmed the news on Twitter: …

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Kevin Conroy Not Comfortable With Batman Vs. Superman

Long time Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy offers his thoughts on Ben Affleck as the new Dark Knight in addition to his feelings on Batman Vs. Superman.

While promoting the animated Batman: The Killing Joke movie – that is not without its own controversy and negative criticisms – Kevin Conroy offers the following to IGN.

Regarding Ben Affleck as Batman:

I love the fact that Warner Brothers have for the live-action Batman changed the casting so frequently. I think it’s really interesting to see different actors in the role, to see what they bring to the character. Everyone brings something different.

And there have been so many actors that have been wonderful. I liked Michael Keaton and I like what Ben Affleck is doing with it now. But they couldn’t be more different. It’s just the same with the Joker. When I started working with Mark Hammill I thought no one would ever nail the Joker better than Mark Hamill, and then I saw Heath Ledger, and he knocked it out of the park in just a different way.

While Kevin Conroy may be a fan of Ben Affleck, he notes he wasn’t all too thrilled with what went down in Batman Vs. Superman.

Personally I love the fact that Batman – in the stories I’ve done, and the way he’s been rendered by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the people I’ve worked with most closely – he never kills anybody. He doesn’t cross that line. Batman is not a killer.

He puts them into Arkham Asylum, which is what is so brilliant about the Arkham Games – someone realized, ‘my god, all these incredible villains are all in the same institution – let’s get a video game in there’. It’s a brilliant idea. But the fact that Batman never kills anyone – I loved that fact.

In the most recent live action movie, that seems to have been a line that was crossed and it’s not one I’m particularly comfortable with.”

Check out video below that Kevin Conroy released a while back where he discusses who would win between Batman or Superman. Conroy goes into why Batman is such a relatable character and offers that Batman thinks his way out of things, which probably explains why Batman doesn’t need to kill — at least in Conroy’s mind. Stick around until the end to hear Conroy offer Batman’s perspective on the matter (and voice).

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Watch: Kevin Conroy Talks Batman: The Killing Joke

Kevin Conroy returns to voice the Dark Knight in the upcoming animated DC movie, Batman: The Killing Joke.

Check out video below of Conroy talking about how the movie expands upon the comic book story.

You can watch the trailer here.

Batman: The Killing Joke makes its premiere at Comic-Con next month.

“Batman: The Killing Joke” arrives August 2, 2016 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. 

Synopsis:

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Killing Joke takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime – from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is – setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, Batman: The Killing Joke stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades – spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless. 

The celebrity-laden cast is led by Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars franchise) as they reprise their seminal roles as the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and The Joker, respectively. The cast also features Tara Strong (Teen Titans; Batman: Arkham games), as Barbara Gordon and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, RoboCop) as Commissioner Gordon.

Batman: The Killing Joke is seen by many as the definitive Batman and Joker story. So perhaps it’s fitting that two of the most definitive actors to ever voice the roles are returning for its animated adaptation. In this DC All Access animation clip, we talk to Kevin Conroy about voicing Batman in the highly anticipated, R-rated film based on the acclaimed one-shot. How does he feel about bringing this particularly dark tale of the Dark Knight to life?

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Watch: 12 Minute Batman: The Killing Joke Sneak Peek

Watch a 12-minute preview featurette for the Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie which features the voices of Mark Hamill as Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman.

The movie, from Bruce Timm, will premiere at this Summer’s Comic-Con with Tara Strong voicing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and Ray Wise as the voice for Commissioner Gordon.

Update: Check out over 100 preview images.

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Watch: Kevin Conroy Weighs In On Batman Vs. Superman Debate

Kevin Conroy, who holds the Guinness World Record for most voiceovers as Batman, weighs in on the Batman Vs. Superman debate.

Watch the vide below featuring Kevin Conroy’s thoughts, which also includes a snippet of Conroy voicing the Caped Crusader.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has a March 25, 2016 release directed by Zack Snyder starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Ray Fisher as Cyborg with Callan Mulvey, Holly Hunter as Senator Finch and Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves.

Synopsis:

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

 

Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman himself, has a message for you! Tell us if you agree with him, and don’t forget to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters March 25! #WhoWillWin

Posted by Batman: The Animated Series on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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Mark Hamill & Kevin Conroy Confirmed For Batman: The Killing Joke

First announced at last Summer’s Comic-Con, now it’s confirmed Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy are returning for the animated Batman: The Killing Joke movie, which will see Hamill reprise as Joker, with Conroy as the voice of Batman. The image above is a first look from the film.

In addition, CBR has it that Tara Strong will voice Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and Ray Wise will provide the voice for Commissioner Gordon.

“The chance to work once again with Kevin Conroy, my favorite Batman, in what some consider the definitive origin of this iconic villain is a dream come true for me,” Hamill said in a statement. “I am beyond thrilled to return as The Joker in The Killing Joke!”

Kevin Conroy offered: “I’ve had the great privilege of voicing Batman for more than two decades, and some of my favorite moments in the recording booth have been alongside Mark Hamill. Mark always enables me to be a better actor. I’m thrilled that we’re both back to bring these characters to life in one of the most heralded Batman/Joker stories of all time.”

The Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie will premiere at this Summer’s Comic-Con, with a later release date to-be-announced.

Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy are also voicing their respective characters for the new Justice League Action animated series coming to Cartoon Network.

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Mark Hamill & Kevin Conroy Tease Batman: The Killing Joke Animated Movie

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This Summer’s San Diego Comic-Con will see the premiere of the Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie, which will feature veteran voice actor Kevin Conroy back as the Caped Crusader along with Mark Hamill reprising as The Joker.

The duo recently took to Twitter to post an image of themselves.

“I finally caught my favorite villain! Bats nabs Joker,” Conroy posted on Twitter.

Bruce Timm is behind the project and also recently revealed the Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie will feature original footage not a part of the comic.

“The source material is not long enough to make a feature film out of,” Bruce Timm offered. “So we actually had to add a lot more story to it, which is tricky, but I think we came up with a really good solution on how that worked.”

The graphic novel is described by Amazon as:

According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that’s all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he’s out to prove his deranged point. And he¿s going to use Gotham City’s top cop, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and his brilliant and beautiful daughter Barbara to do it.

Now Batman must race to stop his archnemesis before his reign of terror claims two of the Dark Knight’s closest friends. Can he finally put an end to the cycle of bloodlust and lunacy that links these two iconic foes before it leads to its fatal conclusion? And as the horrifying origin of the Clown Prince of Crime is finally revealed, will the thin line that separates Batman’s nobility and The Joker’s insanity snap once and for all? 

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Kevin Conroy Ruins 9-Year-Old Boy’s Batman Fun

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Per the norm, the liberal Hollywood web sites and blogs blew up yesterday when a nine-year-old boy asked Donald Trump if he’s Batman.

Trump responded to the youngster with an affirmative: “I am Batman.”

The video lasted all about seven seconds, but various sites rolled with it, taking the opportunity to take jabs at presidential hopeful Donald Trump (much like the Boston Herald tried and failed when interviewing Stan Lee).

Now the latest is in regards to – “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman.”-  himself, Kevin Conroy.

Conroy, known for portraying the voice of Batman in the animated movies and series, actually took to Twitter to ruin the nine-year-old boy’s fun.

Conroy tweeted a pic of himself in front of a Batman: Arkham Knight video game display adding: “I hear a guy with a big mouth & bad hair running for president claims to be Batman. Let’s be clear he is NOT Batman!”

It should be noted the boy and his parents were on the fence in regards to voting for Donald Trump, so it’s not like they were Trump supporters. I’m guessing the boy, an obvious Batman fan, knew both Bruce Wayne and Donald Trump are wealthy and decided to have some fun.

Nice to spoil it, Kevin. Keep it classy.

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Kevin Conroy Wants To Join Mark Hamill In Batman: The Killing Joke

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Earlier it was confirmed that Mark Hamill will be reprising as the Joker for the Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie.

So with the iconic voice that Hamill presents back on board, how about Kevin Conroy, easily considered the definitive Batman voice, in Batman: The Killing Joke as well?

With the confirmation of Mark Hamill as Joker, ComicBook.com reached out to Conroy who stated he would like to do that.

“There’s an online petition to have us do it! Oh, God! Are you kidding me? I’d do it in a heartbeat,” Conroy said. “I love working with him. I couldn’t believe when they killed off The Joker. I would love to do it, and I hope that that happens.”

It’s actually possible Conroy might already be involved in the movie as the previous report stated Hamill already recorded his Joker parts for the film.

Cross your fingers, guys.

The Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie is expected in 2016.

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Watch: Celebrities Play Batman: Arkham Knight

Check out various celebrities playing Batman: Arkham Knight in the “first look” video above.

In this video for Batman: Arkham Knight, directed by Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam and narrated by Jonathan Banks, celebrity gamers get a first look at the soon-to-be-released game. Neil Patrick Harris, Wiz Khalifa, Blake Anderson, Minka Kelly, Kumail Nanjiani, Breckin Meyer, Joe Manganiello, iJustine, Troy Baker and Kevin Conroy all get their chance to “Be the Batman” and take on the threats of Gotham City.  

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available exclusively June 23rd for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC.

In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Voice Cast Revealed In New Featurette


Official Batman: Arkham Knight – The Voices of Arkham
 

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment confirmed the voice talent behind some of the most notable characters in Batman: Arkham Knight, the epic finale to the award winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios.

Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) joins the cast as James Gordon
• Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga) voices Barbara Gordon
• John Noble (Sleepy Hollow, Fringe) voices Scarecrow
• Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, Hart of Dixie) voices Nightwing
• Kevin Conroy returns as Batman
• Tara Strong returns as Harley Quinn
• Troy Baker voices Two-Face
• Nolan North voices Penguin

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available on June 23rd, 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PC.

Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PCs, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman: Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham City and destroy the Batman forever.

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Awesome: Batman Vs. Superman Parody With Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly & Sam Daly

Wow! Check out the Batman Vs. Superman video from Tim Daly, son Sam and Kevin Conroy!

Kevin Conroy voices Batman for the animated series and movies with Tim Daly voicing Superman as well!

The video opens with lines from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and goes into making fun of The Dark Knight Trilogy.

From there it goes into Indiana Jones and the Justice League!

Then it’s Batman Kevin Conroy vs. Superman Tim Daly!

Choose. Your. Side.

It’s pretty awesome.

Check out more via Daly Show TV:

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Ben Affleck Will Have To Answer To Batman (Video)

A fan went out and created a cool video that features a special message to Ben Affleck — from Batman!

In what sounds like a very good impression of Kevin Conroy from the animated shows (or Patrick Warburton), Batman tells Ben Affleck he is going to have to answer to him!

Ben seems to be taking a lot of heat online from the fans, but it does seem as if some are coming around as the various social networks suggest more and more fans are coming on board, or at the very least the fanboys have at least quieted down.

Check it out via BatmanInTheSun on YouTube:

The sequel to “Man of Steel” goes into production next year for a July 17, 2015 release also starring Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

For more news on the “Man of Steel” and related movies head on over to the Cosmic Book News Superman movie hub.

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Casting The Batman Reboot: The Dark Knight Then, Now and Beyond

Batman Then, Now and Beyond

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

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Comic book adaptations continue to take the world by storm, and Hollywood’s desperate need to use “superheroes” as a crutch won’t see that trend ending anytime soon.  So we know (think) the Justice League adaptation is coming in an effort to mirror Marvel’s success with The Avengers, but no one seems to know how DC’s team of super folk ought to be adapted to the screen.  Does everyone get their own film to establish origins as well as a following?  Do we present the team first?  Oh, and what do we do about Batman?  Yes ladies and gentlemen, that last question is the one that’s truly plaguing the executive brass over at Warner Bros., and DC because Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy remains too familiar within the social consciousness of the present and a depiction of that character (DC’s most valuable license) that isn’t as proficient will directly translate to millions (if not billions) in lost profit all over the world.  

I’ve never liked the concept of “rebooting” and I never will, but that’s not to say some efforts have been made in good faith to really deliver some marquee entertainment that attempts to show an audience something we haven’t quite seen before.  Nolan’s trilogy is a perfect example of this, but if Justice League is to happen then Batman not only needs a new face to fill out the cowl, but he needs someone who will be as dedicated to the role as Henry Cavill is apparently for Superman, as Robert Downey Jr. is for Iron Man, and as Christian Bale was for Batman before.  If Justice League was truly a project attempting to carbon copy The Avengers, this production should have considered recasting Bale as Batman to maintain some viewer familiarity with that role as Downey Jr. has for Tony Stark.  Not everyone saw the Captain America, Incredible Hulk and Thor films, but most saw the Iron Man trilogy thanks mostly to the performance of the title role.  Bale’s presence could pay similar dividends for JL, but Bale has solidified his Hollywood legacy, he’s won his Oscar and made tons of money; he’s going to take a break now. 

So, what is the corporate conglomerate to do?  Audiences liked Cavill enough through strong showings for Man of Steel at the box office so Superman is set.  Everyone hated Green Lantern (and rightly so), but can JL afford recasting another emerald warrior in the form of a brand new Hal Jordon or swapping him out for Alan Scott, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner or (ugh!) Guy Gardner?  That character is a toss-up.  How about a CG Martian Manhunter?  Possibly.  Is Wonder Woman simply inconceivable to cast due to the need to make her as physically dominant, yet sexy, attractive and somewhat cute at the same time?  Perhaps.  Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman: does anyone even care about these guys?  Maybe not.  The point is that The League isn’t particularly stable, so the two pillars of this fictional franchise have got to work well (butting heads) onscreen.  Whoever is given the power to choose the next Batman better not miss.  

That being said, we will discuss some possibilities for actors who could potentially do the role (ahem) justice, but before we do, let’s glance at some of Batman’s past renditions to see if we can extract the elements of a performance that are vital to bringing this character back to life for Justice League and beyond.
 

Adam West

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What worked:  He helped bring Batman to the mainstream in the late 60s with a very family friendly performance that employed a decent amount of action for television shows produced at that time.  The show kept fresh by employing a number of his iconic rogue’s gallery for several episodes.  Heck, they even all teamed up against him; Legion of Doom style and Mayor Adam West confronted them with as much dignity as he could muster.

What didn’t:  It’s obvious isn’t it?  It was campy and it was foolish, and West had no choice but to play it that way.  Seriously?  Shark repellent Bat spray???  West is only partially to blame as the man was simply following direction and reading off the script, but his smarmy chuckles, warm smile and Little House on the Prairie interpretation of fathering Robin is far off the beaten trail for this character.

What to keep:  Despite the dated nature of this material, West showed that you can generate interest and an audience through shear charisma and the man certainly had that in spades for his Batman.  A suave demeanor and face is the shortest route to an audience’s heart, so the next Batman must have this kind of likability because his clashing with Superman over JL decisions (as well as his personal brand of “justice”) might lead an audience to view him as a villain.  
 

George Clooney/Val Kilmer

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What worked:  I count both men as the same because the only real positive impact they had on this character is the fact that A-list recognition will bring the masses to the box office; completely independent of the story, production value and quality of the performances.  It is the primary reason why “stars” fuel Hollywood’s engine in the first place.

What didn’t:  There’s almost too much to mention here, but let’s try anyway!  Joel Schumacher, anatomically correct rubber suits, dumb stories and stylized settings are only a few reasons why Batman Forever and Batman and Robin ought to remain in the Dark Knight’s closet.  However, the number one, unforgivable offense for both of these actors is that neither truly bought in to this character to give it the seriousness it deserved.  They treated these movies as only paycheck films and it showed onscreen.

What to keep:  Before Robert Downey Jr.’s career took a hiatus thanks to substance abuse and rehab, he was already established, A-list talent that every media entity dubbed as one of the “next big things in Hollywood.”  Of course, blow can derail anyone’s career, but he came back with a vengeance thanks to the Iron Man franchise, and he did it by fully investing in his character and it produced a performance that will forever be linked to this man’s legacy.  Sure, Christopher Reeve did this as an unknown for Richard Donner’s Superman, but odds are that A-list talent has a higher batting average to hit one out of the park in any role for audiences.
 

Michael Keaton

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What worked:  Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989 kick-started the contemporary love affair with and modern adaptations of comic book characters and stories.  It had a big production budget, bigger stars and encapsulated it all within a very dark, brooding and serious plot that brought the character closer to its roots than ever before.  Many were confounded with the casting of Keaton who was more established as a comic (ha-ha) actor at the time, but Burton witnessed this man’s ability when they worked together on Beetlejuice the year before.  Keaton yielded a performance that no one could have possibly predicted thanks to his Bruce Wayne persona that matched the trends of his past roles and a distinct Batman persona that was decidedly solemn, gruff and cold.  He also rarely flapped his lips in regards to anything while donning the cape.

What didn’t:  Hollywood is good at faking a lot of things.  It even made Michael Keaton look like he was some kind of martial arts master; well, kind of.  Keaton never has and never will be described as an action star, but the next Batman will always have the need to be depicted as very physical on the screen through stunt work and combat sequences.  It’s not necessarily that Keaton’s action didn’t work in ’89, but that it won’t work for Justice League moving forward.

What to keep:  Michael Keaton represents the antithesis of the two men who followed in this role.  When it comes to the nature of a performance, there’s clearly no equation to separate “successful” from “unsuccessful,” but this is why casting is a tricky art form in and of itself.  One makes a decision to fill out a role based on an actor’s history of work and the energy he or she brings to an audition.  Open-mindedness is the key lesson in appreciating Michael Keaton as Batman which applies to the casting of either established talent or a new face entirely.  I also would like to see the resume of whoever will be charged as the casting director for Justice League because if movies like the Star Wars prequels, Ghost Rider and Daredevil are credited to this person, we should all brace ourselves for JL.
 

Christian Bale

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What worked:  He’s easily the most skilled actor to ever play this role and outside of his natural talent, has an entire history of completely selling out for just about every role he plays as evidenced by the extremes in physical conditioning he has subjected his body to over the years.  He made me fall in love with Batman again thanks to Christopher Nolan’s more realistic interpretation of the character.  He’s an Academy Award winning actor who kicks ass onscreen.  There really isn’t much of that going on in Hollywood; ever!

What didn’t:  Oh dear, Bale’s “Batman” voice was awful!  He stumbled on to it about halfway through Batman Begins and never let go for the rest of the trilogy.  I understand the need for the character to obscure his identity, but could we get the man a vocal coach for that?  “Swear to me!”  Sheesh!  It makes me cringe even now.

What to keep:  When push comes to shove, the actor must make the character his or her own.  It doesn’t take a great actor to yield a great performance, but it certainly takes a great effort to do so.  JL’s Batman will have some big shoes to fill, and that person had better not be intimidated in the least, otherwise the performance will suffer and sour the entire franchise.  Bale’s confidence as an actor is nigh unmatched, and while the next Batman doesn’t have to be as proficient, I’d like him to at least be on the same path as an accomplished actor.  Desire and dedication are absolute musts here.
 

Kevin Conroy

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What worked:  What?  A voice-over actor you say?  What’s he doing here?  True Bat-Fans know this man as one of the most iconic voices for comic book characters next to his co-star Mark Hamill’s rendition of the Joker.  He’s voiced the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Arkham City and Asylum, DC Universe Online, and most of the direct-to-video DC animated features like the most recent Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.  The best voice-over actors are masters at manipulating their voice, and one of Conroy’s often overlooked skills was his distinct differentiation between Bruce Wayne’s voice and his alter ego’s.  His voice brings so much life to Batman that it would be remiss to disregard his contributions to the character and is easily one of the best portrayals of Batman ever.

What didn’t:  Animation is limiting due to the obvious nature of the medium, but in Conroy’s case, this is actually a benefit.  The man looks nothing like Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Voice-actors also have less say in the organic evolution of a performance as they are constantly being given direction over the headset in a sound booth.  An actor can only control so much when they are being told to “do it this way,” as opposed to live action where several actors over the years have clashed with their directors/producers over creative differences because their embodiment of their characters gave them more political power during production.

What to keep:  Never underestimate the importance of the voice.  Christian Bale’s weakness is Kevin Conroy’s strength, and the next Batman has got to own intimidation, the bass, the staccato and the diction.  No pressure.

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That was the easy part.  Now comes what websites all over the globe love to get into and that is the theoretical casting call for who the next Batman could and possibly should be for the Justice League franchise on film.  It seems a daunting task because there really isn’t a clear cut choice in Hollywood, but that assumes no one in the current talent pool is capable of a quantum leap in ability and performance.  

Here are five suggestions in no particular order:
 

Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger, The Social Network)

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Strengths:  I still can’t believe that this is his real name, but regardless, this actor has consistently been in the rumor mill for this role, and it’s pretty obvious for some reasons.  Besides the fact he’s 6’5”, 220 and there’s two of him, the man clearly has the right kind of body to step into the cape.  I felt that the dramatic acting he displayed in J. Edgar is proof enough that he has the ability to be as serious with a role as he wants to be.  His face is also attractive enough to sell billionaire, playboy Bruce Wayne without selling out as a stereotypical Hollywood boy toy that loses Bat-Fans everywhere.

Concerns:  The Lone Ranger tanked and he had Johnny Depp’s help.  This doesn’t bode well for his ability to aid in the helming of a franchise.  Taylor Kitsch knows exactly what I’m talking about, and this leads me to my primary concern for Armie.  How much would he really want this role?  I see desire as somewhat lacking in this actor because he’s already shown the ability to act in different genres, so who knows how much he would want to buy into a franchise that will monopolize his life for a number of years into the future.  Armie Hammer makes a lot of sense on paper for the next Batman, but I’m not sold on his ability to truly commit to this role.  Tonto knows what I’m talking about. 
 

Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood)

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Strengths:  This gentleman will be the only member (ahem) of the cast of Magic Mike that should ever be seriously considered to be the next Batman due to the fact that his face, physicality, size, shape, voice and demeanor make him one of the few bodies out there that I could see standing toe to toe with Henry Cavill.  He has all the tools needed to thrive in this role, and he has demonstrated the acting ability to be intense for both action and drama.

Concerns:  But, can Joe pull said intensity inside to yield the wounded loner and solemn respectability?  Can he project intelligence, stratagem, leadership and experience?  Supposing Warner Bros. wants this type of Batman to contrast with Cavill’s youth and inexperience, I’m sure Joe is capable once he puts that costume on, but his repertoire is not quite on par with that of Christian Bale.  Limited experience and ability are the main concerns here.
 

Karl Urban (Dredd, Star Trek)

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Strengths:  Karl has a much better gruff voice than Bale could ever possibly wish for, and he certainly has the acting chops to pull off this role.  His look is also right in line with both the Bruce Wayne and Batman personas.  He also has a very respectable history of work in these types of action and CG-heavy films that would make him that much more comfortable on set.  He owns the concept of deadpan intimidation.

Concerns:  Dredd was not a homerun for me, and that character is pretty close to what most Hollywood productions will make Batman look like.  Karl will also have to hit the gym to buff out a little because being tone might work for Star Fleet, but even Batman’s body armor needs a bit more.  I would love for Urban to use Hugh Jackman’s work out regiment, but that kind of commitment might be outside of this actor’s asking price.
 

Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Gamer)

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Strengths:  This gentleman’s name has been tossed around the internet in connection with this topic for a while, and I didn’t quite see the connection at first, but the shear deviousness he demonstrates in Dexter proves he has more than enough “dark” for the Dark Knight.  He has also demonstrated the ability to project an ordered and scientific persona which relates to Batman quite well.  The overall acting ability is there for Michael to be the next Batman.

Concerns:  Michael has recently been undergoing treatment for Cancer and the disease is now in remission, but the physical requirements for this role may be too much of a burden for this actor.  Even a modest training regiment could be unreasonable and that instantly hurts his chances.  He also comes up a little short in the stature department as well as the look of his face.  No offense to him personally, but I’ll come right out and say it: his ears are just too damn big!  
 

Jon Hamm (Mad Men, The Town)

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Strengths:  If I had to pick one man, right now, to be the next Batman, Jon is it.  He’s got the total package: the looks, the ability and the size.  He’s a little older than some of the other actors I’ve suggested here, but I’ve always felt Batman should be older than Superman because he’s always seemed to represent the voice of experience in the hero game when these two come together.  Jon has the ability to be in any kind of movie he wants which is stunning how his appearances continue to seem limited to me.  It could be he’s genuinely not interested in his offers or it could be AMC’s contractual situation has him chained in their basement.  Either way, if I was casting, the role would be his if he wanted it.  Who knows how to act like a suave debonair better than Don Draper?

Concerns:  As good of shape as he is in; the gym is the first stop for Mr. Hamm.  However, this is usually the case for just about any role in an action film and something to which I’m sure he’s accustomed.  Being well into his acting career might demonstrate a lacking desire and or energy to get involved in such a project, but that would be something for him to decide.  He’s also not had an opportunity to demonstrate physicality in terms of hand to hand fisticuffs in many of his projects, but good stunt choreography could address this.  

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This is not the be all and end all to Batman’s possibilities, and the questions will only begin to be answered when the cast for the Batman/Superman movie is announced.  We can all hope that “the right decision” is made, but whoever gets tapped will only begin their challenging journey because the proof will be in the final product.  For better or worse, this decision will be binding for Warner Bros. who could ill afforded a series of recasting in this iconic role which would be interpreted by the viewing public as stumbling into the Justice League franchise as opposed to marching in with heads held high as Marvel did for The Avengers.  

As for the rest of the rumored actors in line to be the next Batman, I will make short-SHORT commentary in regards to why they should NOT be Batman:

Ryan Gosling (too mopey)

James Franco (too busy looking in the mirror)

Bradley Cooper (too eccentric)

Michael Fassbender (he’s Magneto)

Joseph Fiennes (too old and too British)

Wes Bentley (not enough talent)

Tom Cruise (WAY too crazy, and old)

Andrew Lincoln (too busy with The Walking Dead)

Stephen Dorff (too skinny)

Josh Holloway (isn’t he supposed to be Solid Snake?)

Matt Bomer (too pretty)

Channing Tatum (the male version of Megan Fox)

Sam Witwer (who?)

Hugh Jackman (he’s Wolverine)

Any Hemsworth boy (contractually inaccessible)

Johnny Depp (um, no)

Jason Statham (too bald and too interested in generic action films)

Joel Edgerton (his face is too fat)

Sam Worthington (owned by James Cameron)

Chris Pine (he’s Captain Kirk)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (must have a Barry Bonds body transformation to apply)

Shia LaBeouf (come on, really?)

Ryan Reynolds (didn’t he already fail at a DC hero?)

Vin Diesel (not enough hair, talent or time)

Read More about Casting The Batman Reboot: The Dark Knight Then, Now and Beyond