Warner Bros. is stepping up their animation game and impressing fans with news that their upcoming film ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ has been rated R. The classification suggests the direct-to-video feature will be closely following the film’s source material - Alan Moore’s notorious and widely acclaimed comic of the same name.
‘The Killing Joke’ marks the first film of the DC Original Movie franchise to gain an R rating, and the second Batman movie to do so after the extended home edition of ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ later this year.
The rating comes as no surprise to anyone who has read Moore’s ‘The Killing Joke’ which has been heralded as one of the most divisive graphic novels ever created in DC Comics 82-year history. It is a dark yet poignant novel that delves into the history of Batman’s greatest foe, The Joker, unravelling the tragedies that created such a character and the twisted antics that now consume his life. It’s gruesome and brutally misogynistic, but hauntingly beautiful, leading many to regard it as the definitive Joker text.
“The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often-shocking adult themes and situations,” Warner Bros. Animation president Sam Register said in a statement to EW. “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.”
According to the studio there are currently no plans to release a PG-13 version of the film.
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’, which stars classic Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as The Joker, will debut at Comic-Con this summer before hitting DVD and Blu-ray later in the year.