Easily one of the most intriguing virtual reality (VR) projects releasing in the near-future is the Batman: The Animated Series experience for the Gear VR smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD). Los Angeles-based cloud rendering company OTOY announced the title last year and has since confirmed that Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice behind Bruce Wayne in the original show, will be returning. But Conroy isn’t the only legendary voice set to reprise his role; OTOY has also teased the return of an actor playing ‘a certain character’ that they had previously sworn never to play again.
OTOY CEO and founder Jules Urbach revealed as much to VRFocus in an interview that will be published in full later this week. “It’s awesome to have the original voice actors reprise their classic roles,” Urbach said, “including Kevin Conroy as Batman, and… well, someone who swore they would never do a certain character again is indeed returning to that role. That’s all I can say for now.”
Could Urbach be referring to a return of Mark Hamill’s celebrated performance as The Joker? As fans of Batman: The Animated Series will know, Hamill retired from the role following his portrayal of the villain in Rocksteady Games’ Batman: Arkham City in 2011, ending a run that started all the way back in 1992. In the following Arkham videogame, Batman: Arkham Origins, Troy Baker took on the role. Other voice actors have also portrayed The Joker in various other animated series and movies, making the change seem permanent.
If true, it’s big news for Batman fans, many of which had hoped to see Hamill take on the role again. The Batman: The Animated Series VR experience will also feature a story from series writer Paul Dini, primarily set within the hero’s lair, the Batcave. OTOY hopes to release the experience on Gear VR in the near future, with a PC release following later down the line.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Batman: The Animated Series VR experience closely. Check back later in the week for the full interview with Urbach.