It wouldn’t be a SDCC without a panel showcasing the latest DC animated movie and for [email protected] Warner Bros. Home Entertainment hosted a panel for the anticipated adaptation of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2. Moderated by Tiffany Smith, the Long Halloween panel featured writer Tim Sheridan as well as voice actors Jensen Ackles (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Katee Sackhoff (Poison Ivy) Julie Nathanson (Gilda Dent), and Troy Baker (Troy Baker).
As Smith noted, Long Halloween, Part 2 could be dubbed “rise of the villains.” The panelists agreed that everyone is the hero of their own story. Ackles remembered an interview with famed actor Lee Marvin where he said, “I’ve never played a villain.” Sackhoff relishes the opportunity anytime she gets to play a villain and tried to distinguish her performance as Poison Ivy from her portrayal as Detective Essen in Batman: Year One. The Poison Ivy character in Long Halloween is a difficult one according to Sheridan who said she has to be both strong and seductive. Ironically, Sackhoff recounted that her voice was dubbed in one of her first film roles as a character trying to seduce another played by Michael Rosenbaum.
Gilda Dent, the long-suffering wife of Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent, was a dream character for Nathanson to play. She described the pain and anxiety Gilda works through and her desire to connect with her husband that reflects the duality of the character. Nathanson felt honored to play the character and praised Sheridan’s writing. Likewise, Sheridan reciprocated and commended the entire voice cast for bringing the script to life.
Baker conceded he had doubts that Jensen Ackles, who previously voiced the Red Hood, could step into the cowl but once he heard Ackles’ performance, Baker knew he “smashed it.”
Nathanson was the first to praise the performance of the late Naya Rivera, who tragically passed away last year, as Catwoman. Sheridan noted how excited Rivera was to voice Catwoman, and how much of a loss it is that audiences won’t be able to see her reprise the character.
Voicing Batman was a “hot potato” for Ackles who didn’t want to do the iconic character a disservice. A challenge for him was not letting his Texan accent slip and sounding like Matthew McConaughey, something fellow Texan Troy Baker appreciated. Another challenge for him was conveying performance solely through his voice.
Josh Duhamel, who voices Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the film, was another actor whose performance Sheridan commended. In fact, Sheridan believes Duhamel is doing the best work of his career right now, dubbing this the “Duhamel-aissance.”
Sheridan recounted one of his first animation projects, Justice League Action, and how voice actors recorded together and would play off each other. In contrast for Long Halloween, the voice actors recorded separately so Sheridan attested to the ability to voice director Wes Gleason as well as producer Butch Lukic to bring those performances together as seamlessly as possible.
While the original Long Halloween comic showcased strong female characters, the animated film goes further in showcasing their strength — not necessarily physically, but an inner strength, according to Nathanson. Sheridan revealed that there were additional scenes between Gilda Dent and Barbara Gordon, wife of Jim Gordon, that were cut due to time and various other constraints.
The Long Halloween panel then deviated from the discussion about the film to reminiscence about SDCC memories. Sackhoff said she misses the interactions with the fans and feels she owes her career to them. Sheridan said that, as a fan and SDCC regular attendee before he became a professional, SDCC and conventions in general are a home away from home and foster a sense of community which he believes is more important than ever going forward. Nathanson enjoys the energy of any crowd of people who come together to enjoy a shared experience. She also prefers getting to praise the work of her colleagues in person on panels as opposed to virtually. Ackles equated conventions to a band going on tour on a regular basis and finds that conventions fuel him creatively.
— Tim Sheridan 🏳️🌈 (@iamtimsheridan) July 23, 2021
Throughout the panel cosplayer Heidi Matrix appeared to give cosplay tips and show off a female Joker cosplay inspired by his look in the animated movie.
The full [email protected] Batman: The Long Halloween panel is available to watch on YouTube. Check it out below, and keep an eye out here at The Beat for our Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2 interview coverage next week.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2 arrives on Digital July 27, 2021 and on Blu-ray on August 10, 2021.