One of Batman’s most popular graphic novel among fans, The Killing Joke, features some of the darkest moments in Batman comics, which will now be adapted from the pages to the screen for Warner Bros’ latest animated film. According to the film’s producer, Bruce Timm, the film will be sure to feature the grim tone of that is seen in the graphic novel. During an interview, Timm was stated on the matter, saying:
“The thing about The Killing Joke is that it was probably the darkest story that had ever been told with those two characters up until that time. I mean the idea of adapting this story always kind of terrified me, because of how relentlessly grim and bleak it is. And what happens to Barbara Gordon in the story is very controversial to this day.”
In addition to the film’s producer stating how dark the film’s tone will be, Mark Hamill also reinforced how the film deserves to have received its R rating, and for good reason. Hamill, who voices the Joker in The Killing Joke among many other adaptations of the character, said:
“Even that surprised me, how edgy the Batgirl material was. This is not your father’s Batman. 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.”
In addition to mentioning the film’s tone during the interview, Timm also talked about the film and how it was supposed to be made long before 2016, but it was delayed several times due to other DC films at that time:
“This is actually the third time that The Killing Joke came up for production. The first time, it was because we had told the home video department that chances are if we do this story, it’s going to get an R rating. This was years ago, but they said, “We’re okay with that, but we’re going to kind of hedge our bets monetarily.” The idea was because the source material was not really long enough to do a full movie, we were going to do a shorter movie at a lower price point, so that would hopefully offset the loss of sales that we would have by the fact that it wouldn’t be an all age title.
“But right around the time we were ramping up, the Watchmen movie was released and underperformed. Everybody kind of took a step back and said, “Well, maybe the time’s not right for an R-rated superhero movie, so put it on the shelf.”A couple of years later, it came up again and we even had started production with character designs and stuff. But then that horrible shooting at the Dark Knight Rises theater happened and everybody got nervous again about it, because of gun violence, so we put it back on the shelf. Go forward a couple of more years and it came up again.”
It appears fans can expect a very accurate representation of the source material in the Killing Joke film. Mark Hamill, who is a huge fan of the source material, originally wanted a word for word audio book with sound effects and music. However, that would not have sold as many copies as the Killing Joke movie surely will, due to the high anticipation set by the many fans who have wanted a film adaptation of the graphic novel for years.
Batman: The Killing Joke is set to be released on digital HD on July 23rd, followed by the blu-ray release on August 2nd.