Kevin Conroy talks about Ben Affleck's take on Batman - defending the actor's portrayal and even admitting that he thought that the 45-year-old was really good in the role. Most notable for lending his voice to Batman in the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series which ran from 1992 to 1995, Conroy knows a thing or two about bringing to life one of the most famous pop culture characters. So he's aware of the pressure and scrutiny that live-action actors who portray the part on the big screen are subjected, and perhaps no other actor was as scrutinized as Affleck in the role.
Debuting in 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as DCEU's version of the Bat of Gotham, Affleck's iteration is an older Bruce Wayne - a different take from other incarnations of the character that mostly feature the hero at the height of his power. He then reprised the role in last year's Justice League. But between the controversies that surrounded both projects and the uncertain longterm slate of the franchise, persistent rumors of Affleck wanting out of the role has been a hot topic among fans.
During a panel at MCM London (via ComicBook), Conroy candidly talked about the current iteration of the famed DC character. First acknowledging people's initial reaction upon finding out about Affleck's casting as Batman, Conroy shared how he thought it was unfair for him to be immediately judged without being given a chance to prove himself.
"Well, the one thing I will say about that, and I'm not going to get into commenting on actor's performances. I don't know if you're aware, you probably are, in the Twitterverse and on the Internet, there was a lot of criticism when he got cast. Saying 'Oh my god! He's going to be terrible!' And I was telling people 'Wait a minute! Give this guy a chance! He's a good actor. Let's see what he does with it, you know?'"
He then continued to point out how Affleck killed it in BvS, to a lot of people's surprise. "He really pulled it off. I thought he was really good. So I'm more in his court than a lot of people are, I guess. I think people gave him a hard time before they even saw what he would do with it. There's a lot of pre-judging," Conroy added. This is not the first time that Conroy praised Affleck as the character, last year, he went on to say that the actor strikes the perfect balance in portraying both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Unfortunately, while BvS gave Affleck the story that differentiated him from previous incarnations of the character, Justice League left him almost always out of place. Bar a few good scenes here and there in the ensemble project, it felt like the film didn't take advantage of having an older more grizzled Batman partnering up with mostly younger and more powerful heroes - which would've made for an interesting dynamic between the more optimistic bunch compared to a skeptical Bruce Wayne. If anything, his age and lack of meta-human skills were mainly used to evoke laughter from the audience, turning off some fans who felt that the hero was misused in the movie.
Right now, the status of Affleck's Batman is unclear. The latest reports reveal that the actor may want to stick around and continue reprising the character in the foreseeable future. But with no confirmed appearance in any of the upcoming Warner Bros./DC films (even in Matt Reeves' in-development Batman standalone) it's difficult to take it as a definitive indication that fans will see him again suit up as the Caped Crusader.
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