We’ve known since it was first announced that the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke could earn an R rating from the MPAA. Warner Bros. and the creators said at the time they were okay with that, and now rating prediction has come to pass.
“From the start of production, we encouraged producer Bruce Timm and our team at Warner Bros. Animation to remain faithful to the original story – regardless of the eventual MPAA rating,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series. “The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often-shocking adult themes and situations. 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.”
Batman: The Killing Joke is both reviled and loved as an important comic book, even though it features the on panel shooting of Barbara Gordon, and the off panel rape of the same character by the Joker. Then there is the whole question of did Batman really kill the Joker at the end of the story or not? The story is one that has been talked about since it debuted back in the ’80s, and has even been under fire recently for the recoloring work of the most recent re-release.
All the controversy only fuels the fire for the animated movie that arrives later this year after its debut at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Batman: The Killing Joke features Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Tara Strong as Batgirl, and Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon.