The best Batman isn’t Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, or Adam West – it’s Kevin Conroy, end of argument. Conroy’s deep baritone has been the de facto voice of the Dark Knight since Batman: The Animated Series premiered in 1992, and over twenty years later, the man’s still going strong. For a whole generation of bat-fans, Conroy is the definitive Batman, and while Roger Craig Smith did an admirable job filling in during Batman: Arkham Origins, it’s comforting to know that in Batman: Arkham Knight, Conroy will once again man the cape and cowl.
Conroy’s such strong performer, however, that Rocksteady Studios needs to take care that he doesn’t overshadow Arkham Knight’s supporting characters. Thankfully, the developer seems up to the challenge. To offset Conroy’s commanding presence, the developer recruited some of Hollywood’s best and most interesting talent to breathe life into Gotham’s other citizens. This line-up isn’t just good for a video game; it would be just fine for a feature film, too.
Headlining Arkham Knight’s side cast is Jonathan Banks, best known to modern audiences as Mike “The Cleaner” Ehrmantraut, the stoic criminal enforcer from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Banks plays Commissioner James Gordon, one of Batman’s closest friends. This isn’t a huge stretch for Banks. Like Gordon, Mike used to be a cop; unlike Gordon, Ehrmantraut was as dirty as they come. It’ll be fun to hear Banks embrace his more heroic side, and Gordon sounds like it should be a meaty role for the accomplished actor: Arkham Knight’s producer Dax Ginn says that the game will show what happens when Batman’s allies “pay the price” for the vigilante’s war on crime.
Arkham Knight’s other big get is John Noble as one of the game’s main villains, Dr. Jonathan Crane, also known as the Scarecrow. Noble’s no stranger to playing mad scientists – he spent five seasons as Dr. Walter Bishop on the sci-fi horror series Fringe – and he’s got a fair amount of crazy under his belt, too, as both Denethor in The Lord of the Rings and Henry Parrish, the Horseman of War, on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow.
Rounding out the cast is Ashley Greene, who played the fan-favorite vampire Alice Cullen in the Twilight series, as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Friday Night Lights’ Scott Porter as Nightwing. And, of course, this wouldn’t be a modern video game without Troy Baker and Nolan North, who will voice Two-Face and the Penguin, respectively. Tara Strong returns as Harley Quinn.
The casting news represents a bit of a shake-up for the Arkham universe: previously, Arkham City’s version of James Gordon was played by noted voice actor David Kaye, while Arkham Origins used Michael Gough in the role. Dino Andrade portrayed Arkham Asylum’s Scarecrow, while both Kimberly Brooks and Kelsey Lansdowne played Barbara Gordon in past Arkham installments. Still, the Arkham series has a pretty good track record when it comes to replacing voice actors: when Mark Hamill decided not to reprise his iconic turn as the Joker in Arkham Origins, Troy Baker filled in, with well-received results.
Batman: Arkham Knight arrives June 23rd for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Mac and Linux versions will come later in the year.
Source: Rocksteady Studios