5 Reasons You Should Be Excited For ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’
One of the most famous and best-loved Batman stories from the comics is finally getting the animated treatment.
While the recent New 52 comics has had a mixed reaction for DC Comics and their film division, even more so there is one area they reign undisputed, animated features. From “Batman: Year One” to “The Dark Knight Returns,” “The Killing Joke” now springs to life. This entire article should end right there, but if there is ANY reason you can read that and not get excited here are 5 specific reasons you need to add this to your must see list.
5.) It’ll be in theaters.
Fans got a new piece of news to make them even more excited, the film will be shown in theaters… for one night on July 25th by Fathom Events theaters so be sure to keep an eye on their website. The film is set for a regular video release on July 26th. This is big news as none of these previous features have been shown in theaters before. Sure “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” was more than a decade ago and bombed spectacularly due to poor marketing. Obviously no one expects a one-night showing to break records, but it’s a nice gift for the fans. Also as far as I’m personally concerned, everything is better in a theater.
4.) It’s directed by Bruce Timm
It’s set to be directed by Bruce Timm, co-creator of “Batman: The Animated Series.” Do I really need to explain that?! Okay in addition for being one of the major creative forces behind that he was also involved with “Superman: The Animated Series,” “Justice League,” “Justice League Unlimited,” and all of the previous direct-to-video DC Animated Movies. The man clearly understands the characters and world and why they have endured.
3.) It’s based off of one of the greatest Batman stories ever.
Based off the Alan Moore comic book (not a Graphic Novel as is often misstated, Moore himself has proclaimed he has never written a Graphic Novel… he only writes comic books) the film looks to be a faithful adaptation. Mr. Moore has been very resistant to films based off his work and it’s hard to tell what his reaction to this animated film will be. The book was originally set outside the regular continuity, but was so well loved that it was added in and had a profound effect of many characters for years after. If I have any complaints as a fan from what I’ve seen in the trailers, it’s the color choices. In the original printings of the comic, the colors were bright and garish. While certainly odd, they did strangely match the mood and insanity of the Joker himself, almost like you were inside his personal corner of Hell. However, in recent reprints they took the opportunity to let the original artist, Brian Bolland, recolor the book. He went with much more muted and dark colors which at first glance may seem to fit the story better (supposedly they are how he originally wanted the book colored) and the film seems to be following those reprint colors. I would have preferred the original color scheme, but that’s just me. Other than that I can’t complain much and given the creators’ track record it’s hard to imagine this adaptation NOT working.
2.) It’ll be R rated.
Possibly thanks to the success of “Deadpool,” Warner Bros has decided to release the film with a R-rating. If you haven’t read the story… IT’S DARK. It is about the Joker attempting to prove that anyone can be made as crazy as him and the way he sets about doing this to the supporting Batman characters is the stuff of nightmares. It seems like a given for a story told from his perspective. Many would probably agree this is a story that needs its R rating. Trust me it’s not just the makers are going to add in some random F-bombs to justify the rating. Often times the rating doesn’t mean anything to me, in fact it can have the opposite reaction (I remember getting worried when I saw “The Happening” trailers using it’s R-rating as a selling point) however this is a story that requires it.
1.) Mark Hamill AS THE JOKER
Also Kevin Conroy is returning to play Batman which is great, no doubt. However, most would agree there was only one casting choice that mattered in this film. Movie fans still love to debate who the best Joker was, Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson. But most can agree one thing, Mark Hamill is the voice of the Joker. I have to admit whenever I read any of the comics it’s Hamill’s voice I imagine even if I’m not thinking about it. The man simply owns the role and it is unlikely we’ll ever get someone as perfect in this role. Hamill has retired from the role multiple times in recent years, however he always stated no matter what he’d always be back if they did an adaptation of “The Killing Joke.” The trailers have actually been very tight-lipped on audio of Hamill as he’s obviously the main attraction. An interesting way to sate your appetite would be to go on YouTube and watch Pgirts videos. It’s this guy who does an almost pitch perfect impression of Mark Hamill’s Joker reading lines from “Killing Joke” and it will be fantastic to finally hear the real Luke Skywalker in the actual film. Though be warned those videos do contain possible spoilers for the comic. Still, point being they had ONE requirement for this film, get Mark Hamill back and they’ve done that. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the film to come out. I know I’ll be there, will you?