Something that is making a lot of people smile recently is the slew of news revolving around DC’s next animated feature Batman: The Killing Joke. The story is focused on a single premise, which the Joker wants to prove true to Batman: “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy”. As the Joker reveals his past, and empirical evidence for his theory, Batman must fight to save those the Joker would use for his experiments. We’ve been given access to a teaser, a featurette, and trailer and for those looking for more reason to be excited about this, let’s focus on some important things.
No Laughing Matter
This will be a rated-R feature, the first of the DC animated films to earn such a rating. The Killing Joke is among the darker Batman stories and as such doesn’t get to see the light of day too often when it comes to getting material adapted. While many directors have given this graphic novel its due, this is the first time we will see it clearly coming to life. It is also a book with very controversial choices, ones Alan Moore has gone on record of noting. Without going into detail, there are many disturbing, and graphic elements, which have been guaranteed to be present after seeing the trailer.
The Return of the Joker
Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong return as the voices of the Joker, Batman, and Batgirl. For many fans of Batman: The Animated Series and various other incarnations of the characters voiced by the actors, this is amazing news. Their commitment to the film helps to set an invested tone and sense of importance of this animated film. It is of course with a great sense of nostalgia that we want to hear the dialogue performed by them. In addition, Bruce Timm will also be on hand to contribute to the adaptation.
While hearing Tara Strong will be the voice actress might be enough, the writers are also adding additional scenes to make the story feel more complete, with about 15 minutes of that storyline revolving around Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. In the source material, Barbara is used more as a plot device than a character, so this news has some cautious optimism attached. All in all, will be great to watch the character in action, and despite what we know about her future, it is a welcome addition.
Nerd Cred: This story is as pivotal as it is contentious. Any character wearing the Batgirl mantle has been directly affected by the results of The Killing Joke. More interestingly is that this story, is sometimes argued to be a DC Elseworld story, meaning it is alternate continuity, not main. Grant Morrison in particular had a very interesting theory on the ending and how it defines the status of the story. Because it is a one-shot story, it can possibly be either.
Here's the most recent trailer:
Are you mad with excitement or ready to laugh this one off? Let us know, in the comments below.