After it was announced that there would be an animated version of Batman: The Killing Joke, fans everywhere rejoiced. Then, it was announced that Mark Hamill would voice The Joker and Kevin Conroy would voice Batman, and the fans almost lost it. Now, one of the most iconic comic book stories ever is going to be an animated movie with the rating it needed and truly deserves.
Yes, the animated version of Batman: The Killing Joke is going to be R-rated.
It’s really hard to think that the film could have had any other rating and still come across in the way that it was originally written and drawn in the graphic novel. Alan Moore’s comic is legendary. Now, the animated film will have the creative freedom to be the same.
EW was told exclusively by Warner Bros. that Batman: The Killing Joke would be rated R, and there is no evidence that they are going light on this one. The direct-to-video film is the very first one in the DC Universe Original Movie franchise to get an R-rating.
It just so happens to be the second “Batman” movie to get an R-rating, as the extended version of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice set for home release is the first.
ComicBook.com reported that producer James Tucker was on a panel at New York Comic Con speaking about the film, and he made the reveal in a great way. While going over the details, Tucker merely said, “And you know, they said we could make it a R.”
At the time, there was no confirmation that they would go the route of an R-rating. Now Sam Register, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Series President, has confirmed that is indeed the route they have taken.
“From the start of production, we encouraged producer Bruce Timm and our team at Warner Bros. Animation to remain faithful to the original story — regardless of the eventual MPAA rating. The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often-shocking adult themes and situations. We felt it was our responsibility to present our core audience — the comics-loving community — with an animated film that authentically represented the tale they know all too well.”
Executive producer Bruce Timm has revealed that the premiere of Batman: The Killing Joke will take place at San Diego Comic Con in July. The convention runs from July 21-24.
About two weeks ago, the first true sneak peek of the animated film was released, and it showed that a lot of work had been put into this adaptation. It was certainly clear that DC wanted an animated film that wasn’t just great, but that told one of their greatest stories in an epic way.
The footage in the sneak peek showed that they have done just that by taking Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s graphic novel to all-new heights. Warner Bros. has since taken down just about all versions of that sneak peek, which also included comments from those working on the film.
For those that want to see something, though, the teaser for Batman: The Killing Joke is still online.
This is a film that could take animated adaptations of comic books and graphic novels to levels that many have never seen before.
Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker. Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman. The two legendary vocal talents who made Batman: The Animated Series such a hit show still revered by many to this very day. Now, an R-rating for Batman: The Killing Joke is going to take the horrific, chilling, and bone-tingling tale to a level unlike any other.
[Image via DC Comics]