Batman Arkham dev criticizes DC's plans for harmonized film and game actors

Batman Arkham Collection
(Image credit: Warner Bros Games)

A former Batman Arkham developer has criticized James Gunn's recent announcement that he'd like future DC films and games to use the same actors, saying they'll "never work on a DC title ever again" if the plan sticks.

Yesterday on January 31, Gunn pulled the curtain back on the future of DC's entertainment slate. As well as revealing every movie and show announced by DC Studios, Gunn also put forth plans to use the same actors across film, game, and animated TV projects for the same character. If there was to be an Aquaman game in the near future, for example, it'd use actor Jason Mamoa in the titular role, according to Gunn and DC's plans.

Now, former Rocksteady and Batman Arkham series developer Del Walker has called those plans into question. In the few tweets seen below, Walker criticized Gunn and DC's plans for eliminating existing voice actors, drawing on examples like Tara Strong, who has spent years providing the voice of Harley Quinn across a whole slate of animated series and video games, including the Batman: Arkham games.

The issue, according to Walker, stems from the sheer volume of work attached to voice acting; "these writers and voice actors do 100 versions of everything. They are in the booth doing 600 lines of dialogue just to end up with 20 of the best in the game." All the time involved in that recording means that an A-list actor, like The Batman's Robert Pattinson, would blitz through a game budget in an attempt to keep up.

Walker says that in their experience, only two Hollywood actors could keep up with their voice-acting counterparts; Mark Hamill in his performance as The Joker, and Haley Joel Osment, the voice of Kingdom Hearts' Sora and child star of Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense. Both, according to Walker "cleared their schedule for years," becoming "full VA actors" to bring their characters to life.

The responses to Walker's tweet are filled with developers and voice actors alike sharing his sentiment. The actors aren't pleased over DC potentially eliminating their line of work, while developers like Walker are incredibly sceptical of studios being able to pull this off. 

Head over to our DC Chapter One recap for a full list of all the new movies and TV shows that Gunn and company unveiled yesterday. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.

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