A Long Halloween for Batman Franchise [Story Spoilers]

Batman: The Long HalloweenEven without seeing The Dark Knight, we’ve known for a while that a lot of the story is coming from the best Batman origin stories. Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger both mentioned “The Killing Joke” as Joker inspiration, and the focus on Harvey Dent makes “The Long Halloween” an obvious choice for source material.

The good folks over at Cinema Blend have a scoop on how the third film in the series will draw directly from “The Long Halloween” and its sequel, “Dark Victory.”

Depending on how much of “Halloween” is covered in The Dark Knight, the third film could have the most depth of the series – exciting news considering the success of the series already.

For those who don’t have the pleasure of walking over to your bookshelf to grab your copy of “Halloween” or “Dark Victory”, here’s a quick (Potentially Spoiler-filled) look at the story highlights that could work their way into the third Batman film.

Bruce Wayne is entangled in bank dealings with mobster Carmine “The Roman” Falcone who runs the crime of Gotham. Bruce also meets Selina Kyle while dancing at The Roman’s nephews’ wedding.

Batman is coming out of his first year of crime-fighting, has a good working relationship with Jim Gordon and meets Harvey Dent. While they plan to take down the mob, a mysterious killer starts offing mob members one by one, each on a holiday -creating a year-long Halloween for the city. The killer is dubbed Holiday.

In the mean time, The Roman is hiring freaks like The Joker, Poison Ivy and Madhatter to murder Gordon, Dent and Batman. Gordon and Dent’s marriages are falling apart, and since Batman has no social life, he spends his time obsessing with locked-up killer The Calendar Man – who had a similar modus operandi to that of Holiday – and romantically fighting in the streets with Cat Woman.

The killing spree flourishes despite attempts on all sides, and it soon becomes apparent that Batman, Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent, Sal Maroni – a man set to testify against the Falcone family, The Calendar Man or the Riddler might be Holiday. The playing field is slowly narrowed as the trial date approaches, but instead of testifying against The Roman, Sal Maroni throws acid in Harvey Dent’s face, destroying his good looks and his dream of an organized-crime-free Gotham.

Dent becomes Two-Face while Batman and Gordon set a trap for Holiday. The next murder goes awry, Holiday is revealed, and with most of the crime family murdered, control of Gotham City falls into the hands of the freaks. A whirlwind of revenge takes place, throwing the city and Batman into chaos, but Dent turns himself in, still trying to seek justice. The world gets a twist ending involving Holiday, Gordon renews his vows to save the city, Batman does the same, and Dent’s wife decides to move away despite wanting desperately to reconcile with her husband and still believing in Harvey Dent.

So there you have it.

Some of this already looks familiar from The Dark Knight trailer – especially the involvement of the crime families. If “Halloween” continues to be a source material for the third movie, some of the time line will have to be switched around regarding Dent, but The Joker plays a very small role. Since he won’t appear in the third movie, the script could easily be tailored to leave him out while parading a slew of freaks like The Riddler, Solomon Grundy, Cat Woman, Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter to cause panic. In fact, Scarecrow featured as much as The Joker in “Halloween”, and it’s almost for certain that he won’t be back.

It will also be interesting to see if Christopher Nolan wants to include the Calendar Man storyline. It would add a Silence of the Lambs quality to the series – having Batman consult an imprisoned psychopath for help.

“Dark Victory” follows a similar structure – a territory war between Two-Face and the resurrected Falcone mob led by Sophia while a serial killer dubbed The Hangman targets cops. The significant addition is Robin, making his debut as The Boy Wonder. His addition in the movies could shake things up or prove disastrous.

Sorry to rave so much about a small news tidbit, but I’m in full geek mode to see Nolan and company continuing down the right path with the series. I know it’s illegal for anyone to speak ill of The Dark Knight, but it’s fair to worry about its follow up. As we’ve seen with other franchises, the third film is not always the charm.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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