Batman: The Lengthy Halloween is a pivotal story for the Darkish Knight. The 13-issue series from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, essential on each Bat-fan’s bookshelf, is often summed up as Two-Face’s origin story. Nevertheless it’s a lot extra. It’s a glimpse into Batman’s early years as he learns the ropes. It’s the suspenseful thriller of a cruel assassin nicknamed the Vacation Killer. It’s the saga of Gotham Metropolis’s descent into a wierd, even darker place. And it’s the horrible tragedy of Harvey and Gilda Dent.
The basic guide has now been tailored in two beautiful feature-length animated movies. Half One hit shops earlier this summer season, prompting much discussion of its nuanced take on a young Bruce Wayne and loads of followers to declare it as one of DC’s best animated movies. With Half Two releasing digitally at the moment, the creators and forged sat down with DCComics.com to speak about entering into character, embracing the darkness and the center of The Lengthy Halloween.
“This can be a crime movie, quite than simply being a superhero film,” says Butch Lukic, supervising producer. “Batman is in a scenario that’s inflicting him to up his ante as a detective. I’ve needed to do it for a very long time, taking Batman again to his authentic character and the best way he began out, and the darkish, noir really feel of the model.”
Author Tim Sheridan agrees. “It’s an necessary story,” he says. “It led the best way for lots of future Batman tales. A whole lot of the Batman mythology that we all know and love at the moment is as a minimum impressed by The Lengthy Halloween.”
That mythology consists of Batman’s rogues’ gallery of villains, nearly all of whom make an look within the two-part movie. The Joker, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy and Calendar Man every get their time within the highlight.
“Within the guide, there’s a ravishing splash of all of the villains coming collectively in a struggle,” Sheridan says. “We have been capable of convey that to life much more and provides everybody their second and allow them to shine. That second is vital to what The Lengthy Halloween represents, which is a transition from the Gotham Metropolis of previous, corrupt and run by the gangsters, to the brand new Gotham Metropolis affected by costumed villains.”
Whereas Catwoman is often counted amongst their ranks, in Batman: The Lengthy Halloween she acts extra as an anti-hero and ally to the Darkish Knight.
“(The story) is concerning the two sides of the coin, the great aspect and the unhealthy aspect,” Sheridan says. “Selina within the film, like a cat, walks that line in a manner that permits you to really feel like she may break both manner. That is early days for Batman, and early days for Selina as effectively. Who is aware of what lies in retailer for her?”
Lukic remembers the casting course of for Selina Kyle and the opposite main characters. “Naya Rivera was actually a stand-out—we knew she’d be Catwoman,” he says. “Billy Burke taking part in Gordon was one other no-brainer, he simply had that Gordon voice. Troy Baker can actually do the Joker justice.
“Josh Duhamel was one other good selection. He’s positively Harvey Dent. You already know the man proper off the bat.”
Harvey and Gilda
Whereas The Lengthy Halloween is an iconic Batman guide, it’s additionally the important story of Harvey and Gilda Dent. “The relationships between individuals who love one another and the relationships between household are on the core at what The Lengthy Halloween is,” Sheridan says.
Julie Nathanson, who performs Gilda Dent, knew solely that the guide was beloved when she accepted the position. She waited to learn the graphic novel till after the movie was accomplished.
“I actually needed to make her as actual as doable to me with out getting mired in some other iterations, and even the supply materials itself,” she explains. “I needed to depend on Tim Sheridan’s writing, which is so great. Actually what attracted me to Gilda is, she’s advanced. She’s so deeply interior. Her interior world, her emotional world, is difficult, and she or he’s in a lot ache.”
Nathanson notes that plenty of what the viewers learns about Gilda is thru her troubled relationship with Harvey.
“You begin to get a way of her emotional disconnectedness and her want for larger connection,” she says. “You may inform she very a lot desires to attach together with her husband and loves him, however she’s guarding herself towards her personal ache. I simply discovered her to be such a wealthy and emotional character, such a superbly drawn character.”
Actor Josh Duhamel agrees that their life at dwelling reveals rather a lot about Harvey Dent as effectively. “You get extra of an perception of who he was and the way he got here to be,” Duhamel says. “You may see this man who has some psychological points at first, after which it turns into extra obvious that this man’s not effectively. When he turns into Two-Face it’s due to the straw that broke the camel’s again.”
The Start of a Tremendous-Villain
For Duhamel, Two-Face was a part of Harvey from the start.
“The great thing about it’s that you may see he was Two-Face even earlier than he was Harvey Dent,” he says. “He was a person simply conserving it below the floor, and it was effervescent up at sure factors. There are moments when he snaps a bit of bit, however is ready to pull it again.
“He is identical particular person, a little bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in some methods. He has a persona at work and at dwelling. However there’s one thing darkish and kind of harmful about him that he’s capable of hold at bay till it’s unleashed and he turns into Two-Face.”
The totally different personas are distinct not simply of their actions, however of their voices. Duhamel thought of the evolution from Harvey to Two-Face as bodily because it was psychological.
“I approached him as if the acid had really broken his vocal cords,” he explains. “I needed it to really feel like he was bodily affected by that. It was humorous as a result of as soon as we discovered it, we knew that was the voice. I attempted to do it the place I didn’t harm my very own vocal cords.”
Duhamel believes the darkness of the character and the story itself make Batman: The Lengthy Halloween stand out amongst Batman movies.
“There’s one thing actually cool concerning the tone of those motion pictures,” he says. “There’s one thing movie noir-ish, one thing grownup about it that I like. They acquired to make it a bit of darker. It’s scary at instances, it’s actual, it’s graphic, it’s violent.
“It’s a subversive Batman you don’t usually get to see. I really like LEGO Batman. This isn’t LEGO Batman.”
Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics, motion pictures, TV and animation for DCComics.com and her writing will also be seen on IGN, Nerdist and extra. Comply with her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to speak superheroes, comics and popular culture.