All the casting announcements for the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths have DC fans buzzing about the upcoming crossover, and it could be setting up a live-action Batman Beyond series.
Ever since Batman Beyond was introduced to audiences as a spin off of the popular Batman: the Animated Series, fans have wanted to see his adventures play out on screen. In the past year, rumors have circulated that Warner Brothers was planning to bring the character to the mainstream with either an animated or live-action movie. Famed director Kevin Smith fanned the flames when he made the quip that casting Michael Keaton as the elderly Bruce Wayne in a Batman Beyond movie would rake in the box office cash. I think we all can agree with Smith on that point, but Keaton is not the only option for that part.
While there’s been no rumors of Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne and the talk of a Batman Beyond animated feature film have ceased, it would seem the Batman Beyond movement has stopped dead in its tracks. Then came the surprising casting announcements for the CW’s upcoming Arrowverse crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Spanning the course of decades of DC’s movie and television history, Crisis is bringing back many familiar faces, and not just those who’ve already appeared in the Arrowverse. Legends of Tomorrow’s Brandon Routh, who starred in 2006’s Superman Returns, will be reprising his role as the Man of Steel, and even Burt Ward, the last surviving cast member of the cult-classic 1960s Batman series, will make an appearance. There are rumors of the Smallville cast and possibly the Titans appearing in the event as well, but none match the intrigue surrounding the casting of Kevin Conroy (and if we’re lucky, Mark Hammill, who has been rumored but not officially confirmed).
As any self-respecting Batman fan will know, Conroy along with Mark Hamill are the two most famous voices of Batman and the Joker. The two have voiced those characters since BTAS debuted in 1992. Their voice acting has been included in countless portrayals of Batman and Joker in every facet imaginable, except for live-action. Now that threshold will be crossed.
Having Conroy as an older version of Bruce Wayne makes an easy setup for Batman Beyond. Instead of getting Keaton for the role of Bruce Wayne, he’s played by another Dark Knight legend. At the moment, very few details have been revealed about how Conroy will fit into the overall plot of Crisis on Infinite Earths, but we can assume that he will be involved in a futuristic version of Gotham City, similar to Neo-Gotham.
The other part of this is that we know Arrow is coming to an end. That leaves a hole to fill as Arrow has been among the most popular of the CW DCEU shows. Inserting Batman Beyond into that slot would be a boon for the CW and the DCEU. Leaving Conroy in the role of Terry McGinnis’ mentor will add to the nostalgia of the premise as one Batman passes the torch to another. It seems like so much of a sure thing for everyone involved that it would be hard for WB/CW not to put this in place.