June 8, 2016
'Batman: The Killing Joke' Swings Into Theaters, But Don't Miss It!

For Batman fans, there can be little else more anticipated than the world premiere of the animated film, Batman: The Killing Joke and it now seems that fans will get a chance to see the movie on the big screen. Warner Bros. is releasing The Killing Joke for theater premieres, but there's a catch. The animated Batman film will only show for one night. This means that adult Batman fans will get a chance to experience The Killing Joke as it should be seen, but, as the film does have an R rating, age restrictions will apply for the event.

Batman: The Killing Joke To Debut In Theaters

Warner Bros. is organizing a one-night theater event for Batman: The Killing Joke along with Fathom Events, which will show just days after a special San Diego Comic Con showing in July. The theater showings will be sandwiched between the SDCC premiere and the video release on July 26, so that will be a busy week for Batman fans eager to experience as much from The Killing Joke as possible. Additionally, it has been revealed that the theatrical release of Batman: The Killing Joke will include a special introduction and closing features unique to the experience, meaning they will not be included on the video release.

"Fathom Events is thrilled to be able to bring Batman: The Killing Joke to movie theaters across the country so fans can see it on the big screen," said Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas. "Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment have created an amazing production based on a beloved graphic novel, and we're honored to be a part of this release."

The theater event will likely draw millions of Batman fans and, as The Killing Joke will only show for one night, theater space will be limited, so it's especially important for theatergoers to purchase their tickets as early as possible. Tickets for Batman: The Killing Joke will be available for pre-sale as early as July 17, either by contacting participating venues or by going online to the Fathom Events website.

The Joker Himself Admits He's A "Killing Joke Purist"

"I can't imagine how people are going to react to this, because I'm a Killing Joke purist," says Mark Hamill, who is as famous for his portrayal of The Joker as he is for his role as Star Wars' Luke Skywalker.

In fact, Hamill reveals he wasn't too keen on making The Killing Joke into a film, animated or otherwise. As someone who has read the comic book source material, Mark says he couldn't envision any kind of multimedia presentation of the story, other than an audio book. Hamill says telling the story right would mean including every facet of the graphic novel, down to the placement of the commas.

Warner Bros. had other ideas. The studio was looking for something more commercially viable, an animated film adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke that would attract casual Batman fans just as much as it would appeal to hardcore DC Comics aficionados. The end result is a film that not only adds much more to the Barbara Gordon/Batgirl story arc but enhances the Joker/Batman rivalry and reveals a Batman unlike anything fans have previously seen.

"Even that surprised me, how edgy the Batgirl material was. This is not your father's Batman," Mark Hamill cautions. "The one regret I have is that if I was nine years old, there's nothing I would rather see more, yet it really isn't for kids. I hope people understand when they say it's R-rated, they mean it."

The Joker, as well, is different from what many fans expect, says Hamill. In Batman: The Killing Joke, fans will see a more vicious and vile Joker, someone who knows just how to push Batman's buttons and relishes in doing just that. Mark teases that some scenes will make audiences wonder if Batman really will cross that line in just this one case. Hamill gives such a chilling performance as The Joker that even he has to admit to feeling a little disturbed by some of the scenes.

"I'm in the studio so I'm not turning into the Joker by any stretch of the imagination, but what I'm saying is that if you're in character and in the zone, you relish it. Then you take a break and you think, 'Jesus, what did I just record?' That was really creepy."
Batman: The Killing Joke will be available on video on July 26.

[Image by Warner Bros.]