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The Batman Is Rumored to Adapt The Long Halloween... But Maybe It Shouldn't

Director Matt Reeves' long-awaited film The Batman has had a plethora of rumors surrounding it, due mostly to its long production cycle. One of the biggest current rumors surrounding the film, which will star Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight, deals with the comic book story that it will take inspiration from. Director Kevin Smith, known for his supposed behind the scenes intel, has recently said that the new film will be based on Batman: The Long Halloween.

This landmark murder mystery played fundamental role with the Post-Crisis Batman mythos, establishing many of the modern takes on Batman's villains. Though choosing such a landmark story makes sense, it could come off as a bit of a retread. With the numerous other stories to choose from with Batman, why return to one that has already had such a huge influence on previous adaptations?

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The Nolan Trilogy

Dark Knight Harvey Dent Aaron Eckhart Two-Face

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman: The Long Haloween was already a huge influence on Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman movies. The story's central conflict between the Falcone and Maroni families played a huge part in Batman Begins. Given the soft (at least) rebooting nature of The Batman, sharing influence with another reboot's storyline would seem far too repetitive, even if both of those families are established parts of Batman's early years.

While it's understandable to want a more grounded, noir tone for the film, this shouldn't require borrowing such massive elements of the previous films. Cleaving too closely in any way to the Nolan trilogy may also stagnate the cinematic portrayal of the character, whose extremes would verge between extremely grounded and over the top.

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Another huge part of The Long Halloween was the devolution of Harvey Dent, as the district attorney who worked Batman, turned into Two-Face. Most elements of this plot were adapted almost directly in The Dark Knight. Drawing any unnecessary comparison to that film would be a risky proposition for any new movie, and it makes sense to not use the same comic story that The Dark Knight already brought to life as reference.

Other Batman Stories

Batman is currently in the middle of his 80th anniversary celebration, and that history is filled with fantastic stories. Even though many of them have yet to be adapted, the same few highlights are consistently revisited by other media, as if Batman only has a few dozen adventures. The aforementioned Nolan trilogy took influence from The Long Halloween, Batman: Year One, "Batman: Knightfall," "No Man's Land," and other Batman productions have been influenced by seminal stories like The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns.

From older stories like Batman: Year Two to forgotten events like "War Games" and relatively recent titles like Batman: Earth One, Zero Year, and "Court of Owls." The latter in particular would be a good way to breathe new life into the character on the big screen, since it stands largely apart from Batman's classic rogues gallery and could introduce new villains for a new cinematic Batman.

The Long Halloween has also seen more influence in other media. Not only was is loosely adapted in the final seasons of Gotham, but there is also supposedly an animated movie planned. The story has already influenced too many productions, much like "The Death of Superman" and "The Dark Phoenix Saga."

Giving different stories a chance to be adapted would also help set this new Batman apart from his most popular cinematic incarnation. There are also various Batman villains who haven't been used much on the big screen yet. Given that early reports indicate the use of familiar rogues, perhaps adapting one of these other stories would reassure fans weary of the seeing the same thing again.

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