“All it takes is one bad day”
The most famous Batman and Joker story of all time. The Killing Joke is a story that explore the deep twisted relationship between hero and villain and gives the disturbed origin of the clown prince of crime. It’s a story that has influenced every interpretation of Batman and Joker since, it is their finest and darkest moment.
Alan Moore’s graphic novel is finally being adapted, the team behind this are the same people responsible for Batman: The Animated Series and the rest of the DC Animated Universe from the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Bruce Timm, the producer understands Batman and his stories extremely well, his work on BTAS changed Batman forever, he reinvented villain Mr. Freeze and was a co-creator of Harley Quinn. So for him to be the creative force behind this adaptation gives me nothing but confidence in the final product.
The trailer is awesome, it teases the iconic moments yet doesn’t spoil anything for someone unaware of the story. It appears that most of the film is identical to Brian Bolland’s artwork, the framing of shots are straight from the novel, from Batman and Joker sitting across from each other, to the revolver staring down the viewer. The only complaint is that the animation style itself doesn’t capture the immense detail that Bolland brought to The Killing Joke, it does seem like its been dulled down at times, more of a mixture of Timm’s artistic style with Bolland’s images.
Now in order to make The Killing Joke work, you’re going to need two actors who embody the characters of Batman and Joker completely. Now people argue and debate who is the best Batman and who is the best Joker, the four live action pairs we’ve gotten have all been amazing in their own incredibly different ways. While people try to figure out if Ben Affleck is better than Michael Keaton or if Jared Leto could top Heath Ledger, they forget that the greatest Batman and Joker have been around for twenty years.
Kevin Conroy is Batman and Mark Hamill is Joker. They are the voices, they have portrayed them in so many different projects yet they never lose what makes them so special. You will never be bored with Conroy and Hamill playing off each other as these characters, their understanding of Batman and Joker’s relationship heightening every project they are a part of (Arkham City!) . For them to be the ones to bring The Killing Joke to life just adds so much more to the quality of the film. Fans have waited years to have Mark Hamill recite the famous monologue from this graphic novel and for it to finally happen is going to be amazing.
The trailer does confirm the R rating for the film and that does led to an extreme excitement. Mark Hamill will be portraying an R rated Joker, in a film that depicts what is arguably his most horrific act (definitely in the top 3). With that creative freedom it will be interesting how far they do take the terror within the story, there is a lot physical and psychological violence that Joker unleashes in the story will the film be able to do it tastefully. Finally will this film give an answer to that ambiguous final frame?
TRAILER: Batman: The Killing Joke – Trailer
Batman: The Killing Joke is released July 2016.
Trailer Score: 4/5