We've been hearing for some time now that Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment's animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke could end up being rated R. The story arc that it's based on is extremely dark, and I didn't think that they would be able to tell that story faithfully and not get slapped with an R-rating. Everyone at the studio who worked on it seemed to be expecting that.
Well, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that the film has officially received an R-rating. Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series, said:
“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. ’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.”
The magazine goes on to say that there are no plans for a PG-13 version of this film. This is the first animated film in the DC Universe series that has received an R-rating. I'm sure fans of the Alan Moore comic will be pleased.
What makes this project even more incredible is the fact that Kevin Conroy is reprising the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne and Mark Hamill will be back as The Joker. They will be joined by Tara Strong as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon.
Batman: The Killing Joke is being directed by Sam Liu, and I'm excited to see if he and his team were able to pull this off when it premieres at Comic-Con this year. To see some footage from the series and catch up on the news about it, click here.