In an exclusive to Entertainment Weekly, Warner Bros.’ home entertainment division has revealed that the highly-anticipated animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s infamous graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke will be receiving an R-rating from the MPAA.
In a statement from Sam Register, President of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Services, he explained that this was apparently always their intention.
“From the start of production, we encouraged producer Bruce Timm and our team at Warner Brothers 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.”
Starring long-standing fan-favorites Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the voices of Batman and the Joker, respectively, Batman: The Killing Joke a super-dark Batman story infamous in its portrayal of a Joker that goes so far as to (implicitly) sexually assault Barbara Gordon and torture her father, commissioner Jim Gordon.
While probably the best route to take in adapting The Killing Joke, let’s hope that the directors and producers handle an R-rated approach to the content respectfully and in a way that does not glorify it.