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The ‘Really Clever’ Way Matt Reeves’ The Batman Drew Inspiration From The Long Halloween, According To Tim Sheridan

Jeffrey Wright and suited-up Robert Pattinson in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Along with continuing its impressive theatrical run, The Batman is now available to watch from the comfort of your own home, whether you choose to buy/rent on Digital or stream with an HBO Max subscription. Director and co-writer Matt Reeves’ take on the Caped Crusader’s mythology was inspired by a variety of DC Comics stories, including Batman: The Long Halloween from writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale. Having seen what Reeves brought to the Batman film scene, Tim Sheridan, who wrote the two-part animated film adaptation of The Long Halloween, was impressed with how the filmmaker drew inspiration from that storyline, with one aspect particularly grabbing his attention.

I recently spoke with Tim Sheridan about his work on The Losers, one of the DC Showcase animated short films that’s included in the upcoming DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation, alongside the title short, Blue Beetle and Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!. As our conversation was wrapping up, I asked Sheridan what he thought about how The Batman and how it adapted elements of The Long Halloween. He answered:

I have to say, I think it was really clever. It was very cleverly done. I don’t know if you saw, they dropped the deleted scene of Batman going to Arkham to talk to an important legacy villain, I won’t say it here. But what was interesting about that was the similarity to how Batman and Jim Gordon go to Calendar Man and work with him to try and solve the case of the Holiday Killer. It was very much that same sort of thing, the same vibe, that Hannibal Lecter/Silence of the Lambs-sort of thing. So it was really clever. [The Batman] was obviously influenced by [The Long Halloween] without being a direct adaptation, so I can’t wait to see more from them.

Tim Sheridan is, of course, referring to Barry Keoghan’s Joker, although the character hasn’t officially reached Clown Prince of Crime status when we meet him in The Batman. Within the finalized movie, we saw Keoghan’s obscured form at Arkham and heard him talking to fellow incarcerated villain Edward Nashton, a.k.a. The Riddler. A few weeks after The Batman hit theaters, Matt Reeves released the deleted scene of the Robert Pattinson-played superhero visiting Keoghan’s Joker at an earlier point in the story, as the caped and cowled Bruce Wayne visiting the cackling criminal to see if he could provide some insight on Riddler and his state of mind.

This deleted scene was indeed reminiscent of visiting Calendar Man at Arkham in both the original Long Halloween storyline and the two-part animated version released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment last year. Although Calendar Man (real name Julian Day) was introduced in 1958’s Detective Comics #259, The Long Halloween reimagined him as a Hannibal Lecter-type villain who Batman and Jim Gordon thought could help with figuring out the identity of the mysterious serial killer known as Holiday, given that both baddies’ crimes revolved around major dates on the calendar. In The Batman’s case, it opted to use Barry Keoghan’s Joker as the incarcerated villain who Batman turned to for assistance, although like with Calendar Man in The Long Halloween, he had to deal with mind games in the process.

If you’re curious how else The Batman compares with one of the takes on The Long Halloween, the two animated movies are available to stream on HBO Max too, as is Superman: Man of Tomorrow, which Tim Sheridan also wrote. The streaming service will also be home to the Colin Farrell-led Penguin series and Arkham series that spin out of the aftermath of The Batman. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in how Tim Sheridan’s The Losers story turned out, pick up the DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation on Blu-ray and Digital starting May 3.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.