Joining a long list of actors who’ve played the caped-crusader, Warner Bros. announced Thursday that Ben Affleck will star as the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.
Twitterverse had mixed reactions to this news with Tweeps coining the hashtag #Batfleck within hours of the news going public. However Affleck’s quieter, sophisticated demeanour could be more suited to the role than the most recent portrayal by Christian Bale. Bale’s deeply intense, gravelly voice was mostly the result of his own doing but, under the guidance of director Christopher Nolan and supervising sound editor Richard King, his voice was modulated to exaggerate the effect.
Looking back over the variety of actors who played the Dark Knight previously it becomes evident where this intense portrayal and raspy voice likely started. In 1992 Kevin Conroy, the Batman voice actor for the animated series, gave Batman’s voice a distinctly darker undertone. Conroy held the role the longest and is widely thought to have captured the comic persona better than any other actor. This was likely the inspiration behind Bale’s vocalization of Batman.
In the live-action movie franchise the character of Batman has slowly moved away from the cheesy aristocrat to the gritty Dark Knight depicted in the animated series and as Batman became grittier so too did his voice. An admitted comic book fan, it will be interesting to see how Affleck chooses to vocalize his portrayal of Batman. With any luck he’ll spare Batman fans from trying too hard to capture Conroy’s depiction and won’t overdo the voice.