Batman is a lot of things: superhero, anti-hero, detective, scientist, billionaire. One thing he isn’t, according to voice actor Kevin Conroy, is a killer.
Conroy has lent his voice to The Dark Knight for nearly 25 years in the animated space, including Batman: The Animated Series, the Arkham video games, and the recent film Batman: The Killing Joke. During a chat with IGN, he offered his fundamentals for approaching the character and his thoughts on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“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 said. “He doesn’t cross that line. Batman is not a killer.”
This was not the case with Ben Affleck’s iteration. Directed by Zack Snyder, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned the ire of critics and some fans, partly because this Dark Knight was much, much darker — killing many, many baddies during his bout with the Man of Steel.
Conroy added, “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.”
The voice actor did praise Affleck’s performance, saying, “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.”
Read more of Conroy’s tips for playing the character on IGN.