2009 Movie News Archives
September 24, 2009: Kevin Conroy Talks Batman in "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies"Kevin Conroy returns to seminal role as the definitive voice of Batman in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
"Batman: The Animated Series" star reunites with Tim Daly and Clancy Brown brings in all-new DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie for distribution Sept. 29
While the debate rages among fans over who might be the best live-action actor to play Batman, there is no such controversy when it comes to the voice of The Dark Knight - Kevin Conroy stands unchallenged for that title.
As the voice behind the landmark series Batman: The Animated Series, Conroy set a standard that has cast a wide shadow over any other actor attempting to fill the role for nearly two decades. Conroy once again dons the animated cowl for the September 29 Warner Home Video release of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation will present the all-new Superman/Batman: Public Enemies in a Blu-Ray Hi-Def edition, a special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD. Warner Home Video will distribute the action-packed movie, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download on Sept. 29.
In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, United States President Lex Luthor uses the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his "partner in crime," Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite - and recruit help - to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the asteroid, and uncover Luthor's devious plot to take command of far more than North America.
Conroy's acting career has covered a lengthy gamut of performances on stage and screen, including soap operas and television series like Dynasty and Tour of Duty. His first audition for an animated voiceover role was in 1991 when he arrived at Warner Bros. hoping to land some of the character roles on an upcoming series, and walked out as the title character of Batman: The Animated Series. As they say, the rest is a grand and glorious history for Batman fans across the nation.
So pleased with his return to the role is Conroy that he made his first appearance in six years at Comic-Con International this past summer to promote Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and the crowd greeted their beloved Batman voice with multiple standing ovations. For those fans that couldn't hear Conroy's words in person, here's the recap of a chat with the actor during that weekend...
QUESTION: You've been doing this role for nearly 19 years. Are there still challenges to doing the voice of Batman?
KEVIN CONROY: I guess the biggest challenge to doing any kind of animation voice work is that you only have your voice to tell the story. And you want to keep it real and you don't want to get cartoony, especially now because the audiences are much more sophisticated. Anything over the top is going to read over the top. So it's a very fine line that people walk. For Batman, I think the biggest challenge is the timber of the voice that I established early on. I just kind of improvised it and it stuck. It's very deep in my register - very throaty - and whenever it gets emotional, it's a difficult sound to create with a lot of volume technically without blowing your chords out. So there's all kinds of tricks you learn along the way of how to produce a sound, how to produce it without injuring yourself, and how to juice it enough. It's a delicate, funny balancing act.
Recording Superman/Batman: Public Enemies was actually easy because of the cast that Andrea (Romano) put together. Tim (Daly) and Clancy (Brown) - all of us have worked together a lot over the years, and there's a real shorthand when you're dealing with people who have done a lot of it and know what they're doing. Which is really a pleasure. Andrea doesn't have to say very much for me to know what she wants.
QUESTION: What do Tim Daly and Clancy Brown bring to their respective roles?
KEVIN CONROY: Tim brings to Superman that strong voice, but there's also a real humanity to Tim as an actor and that really comes through. So there's strength but there's a great sensitivity, and that's unique about his take on Superman.
Clancy is great at being crazy. He's a very talented actor. He's got that great sound, that resonate voice. And yet when you've got that kind of power under you, you can afford to be very casual with it. It makes his sinister quality so much more frightening when this guy with this voice is just being very debonair.
QUESTION: What can people expect to find different about Superman/Batman: Public Enemies than most crossover stories?
KEVIN CONROY: There's definitely more humor in this because of the relationship they've created between Superman and Batman. It was really fun doing it with Tim because it almost became like a buddy cop kind of thing. There are not a lot of people that Batman can fool around with like that - that can take it and can dish it back. So I really enjoyed that aspect of the script.
QUESTION: Batman and Superman have all these amazing foes. And yet Lex Luthor has no super powers. What makes Lex a great villain, and how does Clancy make him greater?
KEVIN CONROY: Actors always want to play the villain - they're a lot more fun. Think about it. The hero is just about being a good guy and, in life, we all want to be good guys. But when you're playing at something other than yourself, it's fun to do what is taboo. I played Edgar in a production of King Lear that John Houseman directed for Lincoln Center. Edgar is the good son in Lear and it's probably the hardest role in the play. I thought I did a pretty good job at it - although one critic was particularly unkind. Years later, I did a production at the San Diego Shakespeare Festival of Lear and I played Edmond, who is the force of evil throughout the play. The plot really revolves around Edmond's machinations. It was so much more fun to play Edmond because of the joy he took out of being evil. This guy is planning the downfall of his family, and laughing about it, and delighting in it. And it was a real blast to me. A couple years earlier I was busting my back for Houseman, doing Edgar every night, working so hard on a role that the audience doesn't care about. They want to cheer Edmond and how evil he is because it's so much fun. Clancy brings that joy to Luthor and the more ease he does it with, the more frightening it becomes. And he's really good at that.
QUESTION: So what does Kevin Conroy bring to Batman?
KEVIN CONROY: I guess I am basically most comfortable when I'm alone. As a kid, I was very much a loner. I love long distance running and long distance biking. A director once pointed out that those are all very isolated exercises you do for hours at a time. I think Batman taps into that quality of me, because my initial take on the character was that Batman wasn't the performance. Bruce Wayne was the performance. Batman is where he's most comfortable. The cave is where he's most comfortable. And he puts on this persona of incredible sophistication to be able to deal with the world just like I think everybody puts on a mask to deal with the world. Everyone has a private self and a public self. With him, it's taken to a real extreme. And I think I related to that aspect of him. I am basically a pretty shy person - I think a lot of actors are. That's why they get into acting - because it's easier to be free emotionally when you're pretending to be someone else than to be free emotionally when you have to be yourself. And I think Bruce has the same problem.
QUESTION: Is there still a cool factor for you to be the voice of Batman?
KEVIN CONROY: Oh, yeah. It's something that I'm reminded of a lot from people who enjoy the show. That's a very cool thing. I don't ever take for granted how cool a job it is and how lucky I am to have landed in it. It was the first animation job I ever auditioned for - and it just happened to all come together so well. But it was just pure chance.
QUESTION: Were you a comics reader as a kid?
KEVIN CONROY: I had an interesting childhood in that my parents were older. I was a late child, and they were children of immigrants. So the connection of the family to Ireland was very close. I have an Irish passport - I went to school there a bit when I was younger. So my parents were very old world, and they grew up during the Depression. They were kind of like my friends' grandparents - my family kind of skipped a generation that way. I was put in very conservative Catholic schools - the nuns had habits to the ground, and the boys and the girls were separated. It was very old school. And comic books just weren't allowed. It just wasn't part of my world. I didn't read them because I didn't like them - I didn't even know about them. (he laughs). Comic books weren't part of the planet that I was raised on. Of course, once I heard about them, I liked them a lot. (he laughs)
QUESTION: Do you have a collection of Batman paraphernalia?
KEVIN CONROY: I'm no dumb actor (he laughs). Do you remember the Warner Brother stores? One of the most lucrative parts of those stores was the galleries - they ran them like real art galleries. They'd have people who did the voices come in and do so signings, and when they asked me, I said, "Do I get some kind of compensation?" They were trying to get us on the cheap, but I thought there had to be something to make it worth my while. I said "Why don't you give me a cell?" And they said "Oh, that's a great idea." So I said, "Why don't we make it two?" (he laughs) And so I started doing appearances at the stores and my compensation was two cells - and now I've got about 60 or 70 cells. It's very cool. I have a great apartment in New York and they're all on this wall. Everyone who walks into that apartment turns into a 12-year-old boy. They all walk in and say, "Oh. Wow. Cool." And it is. (he laughs)
QUESTION: What makes Batman the greatest super hero?
KEVIN CONROY: Oh, that's easy. The thing that makes Batman unique as a super hero is that he has no super powers, and the darkness of his personal story. Everyone relates to having a personal dark story - his is just much more dramatic than most people's. Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one's journey is easy. It's how they handle it that makes people unique. Batman took adversity and turned it into something enormously powerful and positive without any superpowers.
For more information, images and updates, please visit the film's official website at www.SupermanBatmanDVD.com.
2009 Movie NewsListed below are all the Movie News items archived for 2009 organized into various categories:
New Movie News:
- January 6, 2009: WB Seeking Superman Villain For Next Superman Movie
- January 8, 2009: Warner Bros. Has All DC Films On Hold
- February 5, 2009: Superman Franchise Still High on Time Warner Agenda
- February 9, 2009: McG's Thoughts on Rebooting Superman
- February 11, 2009: Wachowski Brothers Approached for Superman Trilogy
- February 17, 2009: No Superman For Wachowski Brothers?
- February 19, 2009: Wachowski Movie Rumor Debunked Again
- February 20, 2009: Legendary Pictures Lists Superman Unleashed
- February 23, 2009: Superman Unleashed Under Development
- March 5, 2009: Brandon Routh Talks Next Superman Movie
- March 19, 2009: Mark Millar Moves on from Superman Movie
- May 30, 2009: Smith Says Abrams Should Make Superman Reboot
- June 1, 2009: Bryan Singer's Vague Answer on Superman
- July 20, 2009: Is Warner Bros. Preparing a Bizarro Superman Movie?
- July 20, 2009: Who Was Mark Millar's Superman Director?
- July 24, 2009: Spacey, Huntington and Routh Talk Superman Movie
- July 26, 2009: Variety Article on DCU Movies
- July 30, 2009: Dave Gibbons' Thoughts on Next Superman Movie
- July 30, 2009: Brandon Routh Video Interview
- July 31, 2009: Superman Movie Director/Producer Rumor
- August 7, 2009: James McTeigue Vague on Superman Movie Involvement
- August 21, 2009: James McTeigue's Thoughts on Superman Movie
- August 25, 2009: McTeigue Wants a Darker Superman
- September 15, 2009: Mark Millar Talks Superman... Again
- September 16, 2009: No Superman Movie Plans at DC Entertainment
- September 17, 2009: On-Going Litigation Blamed for No Superman Movie Plans
- September 21, 2009: Mark Millar Denies MTV Comments
- September 27, 2009: Fans Want a Superman Movie Before Any Other
- October 2, 2009: James McTeigue Elaborates on his Superman Movie Ideas
- October 27, 2009: JJ Abrams Says Returning to Superman Would Be A Blast
- November 26, 2009: Superman Movie Franchise Still On Hold
- November 26, 2009: Kevin Spacey Still Interested in Superman Movie
- May 5, 2009: Tarantino a Big Fan of Superman Returns
- May 22, 2009: Executive Producer Talks Superman Returns
- June 3, 2009: Superman Movies Showing in Crystal City, VA
- July 3, 2009: Brandon Routh's Contract Expires
- August 28, 2009: Lois Lane's Sydney House For Sale
- September 9, 2009: Spice Girl Missed Out on Lois Lane Role
- November 14, 2009: Fans Petition for Extended Superman Returns Release
- March 12, 2009: Miller Still on Justice League Movie
- December 24, 2009: Dan Lin Talks Justice League Movie
- January 8, 2009: Harrison Ford Was Considered for Superman
- January 21, 2009: Richard Donner to Receive ACE Award
- February 20, 2009: Superman Celebrities at WonderCon
- March 2, 2009: WonderCon Interview with Jack O'Halloran
- April 10, 2009: Marc McClure on Shokus Internet Radio
- May 12, 2009: Superman III Costume on Auction
- May 26, 2009: Superman III Costume Sells at Auction
- June 3, 2009: Superman Movies Showing in Crystal City, VA
- July 3, 2009: Superman Celebrities at Comic Conventions
- July 24, 2009: Cinemaquette Unveil Christopher Reeve Superman Statue
- July 25, 2009: Exclusive Photos of Mattel Chris Reeve Superman and General Zod
- August 3, 2009: Superman: The Movie Screening Re-Scheduled
- August 7, 2009: Wizard World Exclusive Margot Kidder Signed Print
- August 8, 2009: Margot Kidder at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
- August 24, 2009: Superman Celebrity Reunion at Hollywood Show
- September 17, 2009: Gene Hackman Audio Interview
- September 17, 2009: Help Honor Christopher Reeve
- October 13, 2009: Superman Screening at Pinewood Studios
- November 26, 2009: Robert Vaughan Appearing at Gotham Super Collectors Show
- March 14, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Animated Movie
- March 18, 2009: Jeph Loeb Talks Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- June 29, 2009: The Making of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- June 30, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Press Release
- July 1, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Official Website & Cover Artwork
- July 24, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Preview at SDCC DCU Animation Panel
- July 30, 2009: Public Enemies Preview on Green Lantern: First Flight DVD
- August 11, 2009: Back Cover Artwork for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- August 19, 2009: John C. McGinley Talks Metallo on Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- August 21, 2009: LeVar Burton Talks Black Lightning in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- August 28, 2009: Stan Berkowitz Talks Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- August 29, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Website Updated
- September 2, 2009: Clancy Brown is Lex Luthor in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- September 5, 2009: More Image from Superman/Batman Public Enemies
- September 11, 2009: New Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Video Clip
- September 14, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Sweeps
- September 15, 2009: New Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Video Clips
- September 16, 2009: Plot & Cast for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- September 16, 2009: Another Video Clip from Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- September 16, 2009: Official Press Release for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Sweeps
- September 18, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Downloads Available
- September 24, 2009: Kevin Conroy Talks Batman in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- September 26, 2009: New Public Enemies Video Clip and Images
- September 29, 2009: Another Public Enemies Video Clip and More Images
- September 30, 2009: Tim Daly Talks Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
- October 1, 2009: Justice League: Crisis of Two Earths Animated Movie
- October 18, 2009: Public Enemies Animated Movie Sequel?
- October 29, 2009: The Making of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- November 13, 2009: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Trailer
- November 24, 2009: Press Release - Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- November 24, 2009: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Opening Title Examined
- November 25, 2009: Crisis on Two Earths DVD and Blu-ray Artwork
- December 3, 2009: Chris Noth Talks Crisis on Two Earths
- December 4, 2009: Crisis on Two Earths DVD & Blu-ray Covers
- December 11, 2009: Pre-Order Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- December 12, 2009: Directors Discuss Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- December 17, 2009: William Baldwin Talks Batman in Crisis on Two Earths
- December 26, 2009: More Crisis on Two Earths Images
- January 15, 2009: McG Would Have Used Doomsday for Superman Villain
- January 21, 2009: Unproduced Movie Scripts Unveiled in Siegel Court Case
- March 3, 2009: Unused Superman Film Concept Art
- March 17, 2009: Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942 DVD Collection
- April 22, 2009: The History Behind Fleischer's Superman
- April 22, 2009: J.J. Abrams on How the Internet Killed Superman
- May 7, 2009: Henry Cavill on Nearly Being Superman
- May 19, 2009: An Historical Look at the Fleischer Superman Cartoons
- June 15, 2009: From The Vault - Interview with Nicolas Cage
- June 18, 2009: The Evolution of Superman's Flight
- June 21, 2009: A Couple of YouTube Videos for the Weekend
- July 8, 2009: Tim Burton's Superman Lives Brainiac Designs
- July 9, 2009: Superman Cameo in Green Lantern Film Still Happening?
- July 15, 2009: Gotham Group to Make Joe Shuster Film Biopic
- July 21, 2009: Last Son Documentary to Screen at Comic-Con
- July 27, 2009: Helen Slater Supergirl Interview
- September 5, 2009: Superwoman Exploited and DC History Examined
- September 10, 2009: Warner Bros. Creates DC Entertainment
- September 10, 2009: Paul Levitz and Diane Nelson Fan Letters
- September 22, 2009: Nicolas Cage as Superman Revealed!
- September 26, 2009: More Tim Burton Superman Lives Concept Art
- November 8, 2009: Superman Lives Chest Symbol Sneak Peek
- December 8, 2009: Helen Slater Talks Supergirl
- December 18, 2009: Is Taylor Swift the Next Supergirl?
- December 24, 2009: Supergirl Movie Rumor Swiftly Shot Down
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