Arrowverse "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Gets the Best 'Batman Beyond' Tie-In

The CW may be giving us the definitive cranky old Bruce Wayne in live-action.

The greatest Bruce Wayne of all time will soon join the Arrowverse during its annual crossover event later this year, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” when veteran voice actor Kevin Conroy plays an older version of the character in live-action.

The CW announced Sunday during a panel at a Television Critic Association’s event that Kevin Conroy would appear during “Crisis on Infinite Earths” as an elderly Bruce Wayne similar to the one fans met in the animated series Batman Beyond. However, it’s unclear if this version will be the same character from that show or another take on cranky old Batman entirely.

2018’s Elseworlds crossover event introduced Gotham and Batwoman to the main Arrowverse Earth-1, with Kate Kane as Bruce Wayne’s cousin — and indirectly also confirmed the existence of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane will become her own version of the Caped Crusader in a new Batwoman series due out this fall, not long before Conroy appears in the crossover.

Comparable to Mark Hamill’s iconic voice-acting as the Joker across many of DC Comics’ animated series, Kevin Conroy has similarly been a staple as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman in every animated series or movie since the beloved Batman: The Animated Series, including the Arkham video games.

Now, Conroy will bring that same character over into live-action — and a version of an older Bruce Wayne like he voiced in Batman Beyond would be a great version to adapt.

An elderly Bruce Wayne meets his younger self, with Terry's Batman Beyond in between them.

The WB Television Network

It’s unclear as of this writing exactly which version of Bruce Wayne Conroy will be playing, but he’s probably Bruce Wayne from Earth-1, cousin to Kate Kane. During “Elseworlds,” it was revealed that Bruce Wayne left Gotham City in 2015 for unknown reasons. Maybe Wayne returns as Batman in 2019 to take part in the events of “Crisis on Infinite Earths”? The comics story this crossover is based on leans heavily into DC’s Multiverse, so Conroy could play Bruce Wayne/Batman from an alternate Earth.

In either case, this is the perfect opportunity for the Arrowverse to adapt Batman Beyond, a Batman animated series that takes place mostly in 2039 and features an elderly Wayne as a mentor to Terry McGinnis, the new Batman. The series’ prologue, however, takes place circa 2019, when Bruce Wayne continues fighting crime in his 60s with the help of a high-tech Batsuit. He retires after realizing that he’s no longer physically capable, creating an opening for crime to run rampant in Gotham.

Kevin Conroy, now 63 years old, has been saying since 2017 that he’d love to play Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond in a live-action adaptation. Will his wish come true this winter with the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event? There are an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to “Infinite Earths,” but you can definitely expect at least a few Batman Beyond Easter eggs at the very least.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” will begin airing on The CW in December 2019 and will conclude in January 2020.

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