For the first time, a DC Comic original movie will have an R rating.
“Batman: The Killing Joke,” which stars longtime voice of the animated version of the Dark Knight, Kevin Conroy, and Mark Hamill as the Joker (he too has done that voice in the past), is an adaptation of a 1988 comic in which the Clown Prince of Crime gets Batman’s attention by capturing and torturing Batgirl (voiced by Tara Strong), according to Entertainment Weekly.
The animated film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD later this year after have its world premiere at Comic-Con this summer.
“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,” said Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series, in a statement. “‘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.”
According to the EW story, Warner Bros. has no plans of releasing a PG-13 version.
This continues the studio’s path of releasing more mature comic-book material to the superhero fan base.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was released last month in PG-13 form, but there will be an R-rated extended cut released on home video (and possibly a theatrical version of it, too, if you believe the rumours).