Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman is one of the most popular characters in comics and has been the subject of many iconic storylines.  Warner Brothers Animation has been steadily adapting some of his biggest into animated movies, including ‘Batman: Year One’, ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, ‘The Killing Joke’, and ‘Gotham By Gaslight’.  It has just been announced that the next project will be ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’, which like ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns’, will be split into two volumes.

‘The Long Halloween’ was originally published in 1996-97 and was written by Jeph Loeb, and illustrated by Tim Sale.  The story focuses on a Batman early in his career.  At the time of its publication, it wasn’t clear whether the story was canon or an ‘Elseworlds’ tale.  The original 13 comics were structured in “real time,” with each issue taking place a month after the last, with a heavy focus paid to the various holidays celebrated that month.  While it isn’t as well-known as ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, for comic readers, it is an important entry in Batman’s publication history, and many subsequent writers have pulled elements from it and integrated them into other Batman titles.

In 1999-2000, a sequel, ‘Dark Victory’, also by Loeb and Sale, was published, as was 2004’s ‘Catwoman: When In Rome’, which took place concurrently with ‘Dark Victory’ and followed Selena Kyle after she left that story in the February/Valentines issue.  ‘Dark Victory’ largely focused on the origin of Dick Grayson/Robin as he is drawn into Batman’s world.

Here is the synopsis for ‘The Long Halloween’:

“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.“

Revenge of the Fans reports that the primary voice cast will include Troy Baker, Jensen Ackles, Naya Rivera, Titus Welliver, and David Dastmalchian, although their roles are unknown at this time.  Baker has voiced Batman/Bruce Wayne, The Joker, Two-Face/Harvey Dent, Red Hood/Jason Todd, Nightwing/Dick Grayson, The Mad Hatter, and more in various video games and animated projects.  Ackles voiced Red Hood/Jason  Todd in ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’.  In addition to these actors, the voice cast also includes Jim Pirri, Amy Landecker, Matthew Gray Gubler, Katee Sackhoff, and Fred Tatasciore.

In December, Warner Brothers announced that its animated movies would be released on the DC Universe streaming service the same day as Blu-Ray.  It’s also likely that the movie will be shown on the big screen at SDCC and locally thanks to Fathom Events, as is the norm for these animated projects.

However, ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ has not yet been officially announced, so it may be quite a ways off– like years.  But check back for updates.

How do you think ‘The Long Halloween’ will work as an animated movie?