The Big Picture
- Kevin Conroy’s performance as Batman is widely regarded as the definitive version of the character.
- A new featurette explores how Conroy was cast as Batman in Batman: The Animated Series and his unique approach to the character.
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is considered one of the best Batman movies and showcases both Batman’s crime-fighting and personal relationships.
For many Batman fans, Kevin Conroy‘s performance as the Dark Knight is the definitive version of the character. Conroy voiced the character for three decades before he passed away in November 2022. One of his most beloved projects is the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Warner Bros. Entertainment has released a segment from the featurette “Kevin Conroy: I Am the Knight” from the film’s 4K release.
The featurette features interviews with Batman: The Animated Series developers Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, writer Paul Dini, and voice/casting director Andrea Romano. In the segment, Timm, Radomski, and Romano talk about the difficult time they were having trying to cast Batman/Bruce Wayne for the series. When Romano asked a fellow casting director about if he knew anyone who could possibly play Batman, he recommended Conroy. Once Conroy auditioned, Timm, Radomski, and Romano knew that he would be their Batman. Before becoming the voice of Batman, Conroy was primarily a stage actor. In the featurette, Romano also talked about how Conroy viewed Batman as similar to Hamlet.
30 years since the film’s release, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has continued to be celebrated as one of the best Batman movies. In the film, Batman is trying to stop the villain known as the Phantasm, who is murdering well-known gangsters in Gotham City. At the same time, Bruce Wayne is once again reunited with his former love Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany). The film also features flashbacks that show a younger Bruce Wayne beginning his war on crime. Mark Hamill‘s version of the Joker also appears in the film.
The Legacy of Kevin Conroy as Batman
Although Batman: The Animated Series ended in 1995, Conroy continued to appear as Batman in the DC Animated Universe. He also voiced the character in several animated films, including 2008’s Batman: Gotham Knight and 2016’s Batman: The Killing Joke. He also voiced Batman in the Batman: Arkham and Injustice video games. In 2019, Conroy played Bruce Wayne in live action in The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
The Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 4K featuring the featurette is now available. In the meantime, check out a segment from the featurette below: