‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Actor Mark Hamill Presses The Issue That Film Deserves ‘R’ Rating

Batman: The Killing Joke will soon be hitting theaters, but not all Batman fans will be able to see it, and The Joker voice actor Mark Hamill says he wouldn’t have it any other way. This isn’t the first time Hamill has pressed the issue that The Killing Joke is not kid friendly, nor is Mark the only person connected with the animated film to do so. Even producers and writers have come forward to warn parents against letting children watch the R-rated adaptation of the equally graphic DC comic book. As the film nears a theatrical showing, Mr. Hamill again presses the idea that Batman: The Killing Joke should be treated as any other R-rated film and not as a Saturday afternoon cartoon.

Batman: The Killing Joke‘s Mark Hamill Says R-Rating Is No Joke

As shared by Comic Book Resources, Hamill is again sending out warnings to younger children and their parents that the new animated Batman film is not intended or suitable for those under 18. This new warning comes as Mark reveals that he keeps getting young children telling him that they’re excited to see Batman: The Killing Joke in theaters, which is something Hamill urges them not to do.

“Kids will come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I’m so excited for The Killing Joke,’ and I say, ‘Don’t you watch that,'” Hamill, who plays The Joker in the film, told audiences at Friday’s Star Wars Celebration Europe.

Hamill continued to drive the point home, stressing that there’s a reason Batman: The Killing Joke is rated R.

“The thing is, it’s not for kids,” Hamill explained, “and I really apologize for this. It’s rated R […] but it’s really mean and nasty.”

Mark Hamill Warns Alan Moore Fundamentalists To Be Prepared For Deviations From The Comic Book

Children aren’t the only ones to have received warnings from Mark Hamill on the topic of seeing Batman: The Killing Joke. The Star Wars and Batman actor also warned faithful devotees to Alan Moore’s graphic novel, upon which Batman: The Killing Joke film is based, that the animated version isn’t a strict retelling. Hamill seemed genuinely interested in preparing fans, so they could get the most out of a Batman: The Killing Joke viewing, instead of coming away feeling cheated or disappointed.

“And, by the way, for you Alan Moore fundamentalists, of which I am one, it’s not — because I thought of it as a book on tape where we were going to do every single word, right, and just do music and sound effects,” Hamill said.

A highlight of Mark Hamill’s appearance on stage at the Star Wars event came, when the actor recited some lines from Batman: The Killing Joke in his best Joker voice. CBS shares the unique opportunity that sent fans of the animated Batman series into a frenzy.

“Memory’s so treacherous,” he said as The Joker. “One moment you’re lost in a carnival of delights, with the poignant childhood aromas flashing to the yawn of puberty. All that sentimental candy floss. Next, it leads you somewhere you don’t want to go, somewhere dark, and cold, and filled with the damp, ambiguous shapes of things you hoped were forgotten. Memories can be vile, repulsive little growths. Like children, I suppose.”

The Batman: The Killing Joke voice actor also shared news that Alan Moore wasn’t going to be a fan. Where Moore has previously denounced his involvement with the project, going as far as to say that now, years later, he’s very much bothered by the violence in his graphic comic book, Hamill points out that Alan really hasn’t liked the adaptations of any of his works.

“Because Alan Moore doesn’t like anything that they do — you know, V for Vendetta, he didn’t like Watchmen. It’s just, you know, he’s a perfectionist, so he’s going to hate Killing Joke. But Killing Joke is embedded in a larger story that I can tell you involves Batgirl and Batman.”

Mark Hamill delivered his warnings about Batman: The Killing Joke as a part of an hour long Q&A at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event. The entire interview, during which Hamill talks about both his Star Wars and Batman work, can be viewed below.

One more time, Hamill adds his Batman: The Killing Joke disclaimer for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention.

“And, like I say, it’s earned its R rating. I mean, they really did it like the book.”

Batman: The Killing Joke, starring Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, will see a limited theatrical release on July 25.

[Image by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios]