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Why Jensen Ackles Was A Great Choice To Play Batman In Long Halloween, According To Joker Voice Actor

Batman with Joker aboard plane in Long Halloween Part One

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Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles previously contributed to the DC Comics media landscape as the voice of Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood, in the 2010 direct-to-video animated movie Batman: Under the Red Hood. Over a decade later, Ackles has voiced the Caped Crusader himself for the two-part Batman: The Long Halloween animated adaptation, and among his co-stars is Troy Baker, who reprises The Joker. Baker has also voiced Batman many times over the years, but when it comes to Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Part Two, he has nothing but praise for Ackles’ performance as the lead character.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Troy Baker about his time working on the two Batman: The Long Halloween movies, and while going over some of the other talent involved with this DC Comics project, he said the following about Jensen Ackles’ turn as both Batman and his civilian alter-ego, Bruce Wayne:

Jensen, I’ve got to give him props, and I’ve said this with every other interview I’ve done today, I really, really commend his performance in this. This is not just a gig for him. He walked in and he met this with the full arsenal of his experience, talent and passion, and it’s a real big challenge. Stepping into the cowl, in the titular role of something as established as Batman is a huge challenge, but it’s easier to be Batman than it is to be Bruce. And a lot of people don’t understand that, and they just go, ‘I just gotta make sure I sound low and menacing to do Batman.’ No, that’s not it. You also have to be Bruce and be acceptable and believable, and not just someone putting on a voice. [Jensen’s] Bruce helped me believe his Batman in such a unique way.

Troy Baker is certainly one of more qualified people out there to praise someone else’s Batman performance, as he’s voiced Gotham City’s shadowy vigilante in numerous projects, ranging from Batman: The Telltale Series to Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As he noted, it’s not enough to simply sound tough when playing Batman; you also have to deliver enough nuance to the Bruce Wayne aspect of the character to make it sound like these are two separate people. It’s something that Kevin Conroy did incredibly well for Batman: The Animated Series, and Baker believes that Jensen Ackles nailed that as well.

For Troy Baker, Batman: The Long Halloween marked another opportunity to deliver his take on The Joker for a more mature story, having previously in Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Assault on Arkham, among other projects. Like in the original Long Halloween story written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, Joker was among the many classic villains Batman crossed paths with in his mission to apprehend Holiday, though Joker was also interested in the serial killer, going so far as to try to kill everyone in Gotham Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve in Part One in the hopes that Holiday would be part of the crowd. No spoilers here on how Joker fits into Part Two for those who haven’t read the original story or had a chance to watch the movie yet.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One can be purchased on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download, while Part Two is currently available digitally, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies will arrive on August 10. As for Troy Baker and Jensen Ackles, the former recently lent his voice to a couple episodes of Rick and Morty Season 5, while the latter is playing Soldier Boy in Season 3 of the Amazon series The Boys.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.