Written by Andrew Pollard Friday, 15 April 2016

Movie News

Whilst Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has firmly split opinion amongst fans and critics alike, all Bat-centric eyes have now switched to another of the Caped Crusader’s 2016 outings. Yes, we’re talking about The Killing Joke.

As the film gets ready to be released later this year, the news today is that the adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s iconic Joker-centric tale has been officially rated R in the US.

Entertainment Weekly broke the news, with Warner Brothers’ Sam Register telling the outlet, “From the start of production, we encouraged producer Bruce Timm and our team at Warner Bros. Animated to remain faithful to the origin story – regardless of the eventual MPAA rating. The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often-shocking adult themes and situation. 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.”

Additionally, EW is reporting that there are no plans whatsoever to release a PG-13 version of the movie at any point.

With Kevin Conroy once again in the Batsuit, and with Mark Hamill returning as The Joker, anticipation is high as fans look forward to seeing this animated adaptation of one of DC’s most famous stories. Initially released in 1988, The Killing Joke gave fans an origin story of sorts for the Clown Prince of Crime, but it was his actions in the present-day that gave Mr. J a clinical, maniacal edge that had rarely been seen up until that point. In the book, The Joker has Jim Gordon in his sights, kidnapping and torturing him. Even more shocking, as part of his attack on Gordon, the Harlequin of Hate shoots Barbara Gordon through the spine, leaving her paralyzed as a result. From The Killing Joke onwards, The Joker was seen as a more crazed and brutal villain than ever before, with this move made in order to bring some serious menace to a character who at that point in time was often thought of as Cesar Romero-type.

Batman: The Killing Joke is to be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD later this year. In the meantime, be sure to check out the below featurette to give yourself an idea of what to expect:

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