The Voice of BATMAN Sparks ARKHAM Game Follow-Up Rumors
The voice of Batman for a generation, Kevin Conroy, set off a firestorm of rumor and speculation with a since-deleted tweet from his Twitter account. Conroy, who began voicing The Dark Knight in 1992's groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series and continued the role throughout its many iterations and into animated movies and video games, has been talking about stepping away from the role for many years and it looked like that might finally be the case when a new actor was cast to give voice to Batman for the Batman: Arkham Asylum prequel Batman: Arkham Origins. But an innocent attempt at a clarification may have laid waste to some carefully laid plans.
In response to a statement he reportedly made at the recently concluded Dallas Comic Con that he was working on the "next Arkham game," those comments were construed to mean that he was back in cowl for Arkham Origins. However, the aforementioned deleted tweet mentioned that Conroy meant the next Arkham game, and not Arkham Origins, revealing that there might be a follow up to Batman: Arkham City (the latest game according to its own internal chronology) coming in the future, putting the Arkham games on a dual development track system like Call of Duty. The deletion of the tweet of course only serves to fuel the story, lending credence.
Variety reported in July 2012 that Rocksteady, the original development studio for the Arkham series, is working on a new game for 2014, presumably the first entry for the next-gen systems, the PlayStation 4 and the follow-up to the Xbox 360 (being revealed today at 1pm EDT). The game, they said, would take place before the other entries (as Arkham Origins does), and feature the rest of the Justice League, DC's premiere superhero team that puts Batman alongside Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more. It's possible Variety was hearing about not one, but two games, the 2013 Origins from WBIE's new studio, and a 2014 Justice League from Rocksteady.
As of now, Warner Bros and all invested parties are sticking to the official word that since Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel story of one particularly hazardous winter's night in a younger Batman's second year on the job, a "new, more youthful," voice was cast for the role. Filling these massive boots will be the task of Rodger Craig Smith, a veteran voice actor best known to gamers as the voice behind fan favorite character Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed 2 Trilogy and who was recently cast as the new voice for Captain America for the upcoming Avengers Assemble animated series . Since you can't have a Batman game without The Joker, joining Smith will be BioShock Infinite's star Troy Baker as the Joker, meaning Conroy's opposite number Mark Hamill is likely completely out of the picture. Comic book fans know Baker's voice well in recent years, having voiced, in no particular order, Hawkeye (which he'll continue to voice alongside Smith on Avengers Assemble), Batman, Two-Face, Sinestro, Nightwing, J.A.R.V.I.S., Loki, Super-Skrull, Clay Quartermain, Blizzard, Constrictor, Tim Drake, Sublime, Nova, and more, to say nothing of his multiple characters in the Naruto, G.I. Joe, and Transformers worlds.