On July 8, 2020, actress Raya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on the TV series Glee, tragically died at the age of 33. However, Rivera has appeared posthumously several times in the months that followed, with her final TV appearance being on The Eric Andre Show. Now it’s been officially confirmed that her final movie role was lending her vocal talents to an upcoming animated Batman feature.
Last summer at DC FanDome, it was announced that Batman: The Long Halloween, one of the Caped Crusader’s most popular stories, would be adapted into a two-part animated movie, just like what was done with 2018’s The Death of Superman and 2019’s Reign of the Supermen. Today, THR unveiled the main cast for Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, and it includes Naya Rivera voicing Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Rivera completed her voice work before her death, so we’ll also hear her as Catwoman when Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two arrives months after its predecessor.
But Naya Rivera is just one member of Batman: The Long Halloween’s ensemble cast. We also have Supernatural star Jensen Ackles voicing Bruce Wayne himself, making this his second Batman project, as he previously voiced Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood, in 2010’s Batman: Under the Red Hood. Ackles additionally has DC cred from his time as Jason Teague in Smallville Season 4, but let’s not lose sight of what’s truly important here: that gif of Ackles saying “I’m Batman” during his time as Dean Winchester has finally become a reality!
Batman: The Long Halloween’s cast also includes Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as James Gordon, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man (making this his fifth DC Comics-related role following appearances in The Dark Knight, Gotham, The Flash and the upcoming The Suicide Squad), Troy Baker as The Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid as Alberto Falcone, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy and Alastair Duncan as Alfred, with Frances Callier, Greg Chun, Gary Leroi Gray and Jim Pirri also doing voice work. Superman: Man of Tomorrow’s Chris Palmer and Tim Sheridan directed and wrote the two-part Long Halloween adaptation, respectively.
Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, which unfolded across 13 issues, follows Bruce Wayne in his second year of crimefighting as he hunts down a serial killer named Holiday, who, as the name indicates, murders people on holidays, once per month. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Batman also has to deal with a gang war breaking our between the Falcone and Maroni crime families, as well as clash with the growing population of colorful criminals, or “freaks,” if you prefer. The Long Halloween also showed how Harvey Dent transformed from Gotham City’s legal savior to the duality-obsessed Two-Face.
Naya Rivera fans can take comfort knowing that her version of Catwoman won’t simply cameo in the two Batman: The Long Halloween movies. She plays an important role in the original storyline, from her frequent run-ins with Batman to her mysterious connection to Carmine Falcone. So unless these direct-to-video flicks are drastically shaking things up, expect to see a lot of Rivera’s Selina.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it is expected to arrive this spring or summer, with Part Two likely following in the fall or winter. Those of you who are interested in learning what’s being lined up on the live-action DC media front would be wise to peruse through our upcoming DC movies guide.