‘The Killing Joke’ Will Be Rated R & Anyone Who Has Read This Batman Graphic Novel Shouldn’t be Surprised

Anyone who worried that DC Universe Original Movie's The Killing Joke would be a toned down, safe for work interpretation of the graphic graphic novel can let out a maniacal, Joker-esque sigh of relief. According to Entertainment Weekly, Warner Bros. Animation has confirmed that the animated adaptation of Alan Moore’s renowned (and controversial) book Batman: The Killing Joke will be rated R. The movie version of the 1988 comic stars Batman 'toon veterans Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, and Tara Strong. The cast also welcomes the great character actor Ray Wise to the fold.

President of Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series Sam Register said the following in a statement (via Entertainment Weekly):

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.

Without giving too much away about The Killing Joke, the book chronicles the Joker’s origin story. The Joker’s dark and gruesome and disturbing and violent origin story. The Joker’s dark and gruesome and disturbing and violent origin story that may or may not involve torturing Commissioner Gordon and Barbara Gordon. If there was ever going to be an R-rated film adaptation of a Batman tale, it’d be this one. (Oh, same goes for Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. That comic is gnarly nightmare material.)

The Killing Joke will premiere at San Diego Comic Con this summer, and it is slated to drop on DVD and Blu-ray later this year.

Image: Warner Bros. Animation