Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice of Batman,originally auditioned to play Commissioner Gordon or Harvey Bullock for Batman: The Animated Series, ComicBook reports. He says that back when he was first auditioning for the series, "I was kind of pitching myself, because I had never done animation before. This was the first animation audition I had, and I went in, and I said, ‘Well, what about Bullock? That would be a cool character to play. Or Commissioner Gordon? I can really do Commissioner Gordon."
Andrea Romano, Paul Dini, Matt Burnett and Bruce Timm were the ones overseeing the audition and they all told Conroy they wanted him to audition for Batman. But even after that, Conroy continued to try to audition for Bullock and other characters he thought would be "more fun to play". Of course, he ended up getting the starring role of Batman: The Animated Series anyway.
Conroy is reprising his role as Batman in two animated projects. He plays Batman in the movie Batman: The Killing Joke but is also playing the character in the upcoming cartoon Justice League Action. The projects are wildly different in tone: Justice League Action will be kid-friendly while The Killing Joke is very much not. However, Conroy says he approaches both roles as the same character.
"You have to be consistent. You have to be true to the character no matter what situation he's in. And in The Killing Joke, it's such a dark, frightening place that he goes to, but it's the same character," he explains. "In Justice League Action, it's that character, that same brooding, dark character, but in a more ridiculous situation. here's still a lot of action and adventures in it, but there's a little bit of a more ridiculous side to it, so it opens itself up to a little bit of comedy, which I loved playing."
Conroy said that he thinks acting in an animated series featuring short 11-minute episodes will be a welcome change from voicing in movies and video games. "It's not as fulfilling as acting in the episodic shows because those are like little plays, so you have the interaction with the other actors that's so much fun." He says he loves seeing the end result of the video games like Batman: Arkham Knight but that "the actual process of building them is brutal."
Batman: The Killing Joke is currently available digitally and will be out on DVD on August 2nd. Justice League Action will be premiering on Cartoon Network this fall.
I'm certainly glad we got Kevin Conroy as Batman rather than as Gordon or Bullock, he's great in the role. What do you think of his current projects?