One of the best Batman stories of the past 25 years is next on DC Entertainment’s animated film slate. As first reported by Revenge of the Fans, Batman: The Long Halloween is set to be adapted into a two-part movie. The original limited series written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale ran for 13 issues between 1996 and 1997 and was a significant influence on Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, particularly The Dark Knight.
Though DC Entertainment has adapted many memorable comic book story arcs into animated movies, only a select handful have been given the two-part treatment. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was the first of the studio’s two-part ventures, with each installment released four months apart between 2012 and 2013. Later this January, Reign of the Supermen will debut, following up six months after The Death of Superman was released.
The Long Halloween takes place early in Batman’s career, as the Gotham police and district attorney’s office try to end the mob war between the Falcone and Maroni families. Igniting the conflict is a mystery killer, who murders the youngest Falcone son and proceeds to murder someone each month, usually on holidays. Along the way, crime boss Carmine Falcone employs villains like the Riddler and Poison Ivy to gain an advantage, while the Joker attempts to take out the Holiday killer for moving on his territory.
Above all, The Long Halloween is an origin story for Two-Face. Harvey Dent works with Batman against the two mob families, but becomes increasingly irrational in his ambition. Following attempts to kill him and his family, and the pivotal incident that scars half of his face, Dent loses his grip on reality and seeks revenge on Falcone.
What could be most intriguing about this adaptation is whether or not the animation style tries to follow the distinct style of Tim Sale’s dark, moody art. Sale’s Batman looks unlike many other interpretations, especially with the Dark Knight’s mask and cape. But his version is a bulkier hero, similar to Frank Miller’s Batman. Sale’s style is most distinct with the supporting characters in the story, notably each member of the Falcone and Maroni families. Nobody draws the Joker, Penguin or Poison Ivy like he does, depicting each as almost supernatural characters.
According to Mario-Francisco Robles’s report, this two-part Batman film will not be part of the DC animated universe that’s been established with films like The Death of Superman and the various Justice League movies. This will be a standalone Batman story like The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns and the upcoming Hush.
There’s no word on when The Long Halloween is expected to debut, but the 2019 schedule for DC animated films — including Justice League vs. The Fatal Five and Wonder Woman: Bloodlines — so we probably won’t see Part 1 of this story until 2020 at the earliest.