At some point, Warner Bros and DC will run out of acclaimed Batman comics to make into animated DTV movies. We’ve had The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, Year One, Gotham By Gaslight, and coming soon, The Long Halloween. What will they do when the well runs dry? “The Killing Joke, But It’s Good This Time” is one idea we have.
Batman: The Long Halloween is based on a 1996 graphic novel by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. And when the title says long, it means LONG — we’re only getting the first half of it this summer, with the remaining chunk to be delivered on a separate disc in the fall.
The story takes place not long after Year One. Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Joker are all established presences in Gotham, but the Rogue’s Gallery is starting to rise and new baddies are surfacing. The trailer below opens with a prophetic conversation between Batman and Harvey Dent where the latter can’t decide to be good or bad, and Batman tells him to “flip a coin.” He will be doing that repeatedly in the years ahead.
For now, though, Batman is mainly hunting down non-costumed criminals of the mobster variety, as well as a serial murderer known as the Calendar Man who, befitting his name, only comes out to kill on holidays.
Batman: The Long Halloween stars Jensen Ackles as Bruce Wayne, Naya Rivera as Catwoman, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as James Gordon, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man, Troy Baker as The Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy and Alistair Duncan as Alfred Pennyworth. The movie has been rated PG-13, a shift for the DC Animation Factory after the last few Batmans have gone far enough to get R ratings. It still isn’t for kids, though.