Warner Bros. Animation can’t get enough Batman. Every year or so a highly regarded Batman story from yesteryear is adapted for a gritty animated feature. Now the studio is moving ahead with the next one: 1996’s 13-issue mini, The Long Halloween, reports Revenge of the Fans.
Written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, Long Halloween teams Batman with Commissioner Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent in pursuit of an assailant named Holiday, whose crimes take place on a given month’s major holiday, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and (oh, yes) Halloween. The plot incorporated a number of familiar faces including mobster Carmine Falcone, played by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins, and crime boss Sal Maroni, played by Eric Roberts in The Dark Knight.
Long Halloween inspired elements of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films with Christian Bale, in particular, the origin for Two-Face in Dark Knight. Events that unfold in the miniseries lead to the acid attack in court that turns Dent into the coin-flipping criminal — a scenario we saw play out in live action for the first time in Batman Forever.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement Batman: HUSH is also being turned into a feature. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the two movies will be connected or be part of the animated universe DC appears to be building. The main reason for this is the two appear to have different voice casts. Revenge of The Fans revealed who they believe will be part of the voice cast and like HUSH it won’t include DC voice icons Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.
Long Halloween will feature the voice talents of Troy Baker, Jensen Ackles, Naya Rivera, Titus Welliver, David Dastmalchian, Jim Pirri, Amy Landecker, Matthew Gray Gubler, Katee Sackhoff, and Fred Tatasciore.
Ackles steps back into the Bat-verse after a decade-long absence since playing Jason Todd/Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood. Baker has played Batman, Joker, and Two-Face before, all of whom play a part in Long Halloween, so he could supply the cadence for either one. Tatasciore is also no newcomer to comic characters — he’s been the Hulk for years — so he is another who could play anybody.
Along with the reported cast list, a synopsis for the upcoming featured film was also revealed:
“Christmas. St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. As the calendar’s days stack up, so do the bodies littered in the streets of Gotham City. A murderer is loose, killing only on holidays. The only man that can stop this fiend? The Dark Knight. In a mystery taking place during Batman’s early days of crime fighting, Batman: The Long Halloween is one of the greatest Dark Knight stories ever told.
Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman’s deadly enemy, Two-Face.”
No release date is set yet but Long Halloween is planned as a two-part film adaptation, similar to 2012’s Dark Knight Returns and Death and Reign of the Supermen. The films will take place independent of any shared-universe continuity.
The Long Halloween was compiled into a graphic novel and is considered one of the best Batman stories of all time. IGN ranks it ahead of that other Loeb-penned story, HUSH, on their Top 25 List of Batman stories.
It’s interesting to hear Long Halloween and HUSH are being turned into animated features; not simply because it took so long but because few thought it would happen at all. Godfather of DC animation Bruce Timm swore features would be less likely than a TV series. Of course, that was years ago.
Excited for HUSH and Long Halloween? Let us know in the comments.