‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ to Become a DC Animated Feature Film

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

While DC and Warner Bros may not have a Marvel Studios-style streak when it comes to their live action films, the duo absolutely crushes it in animated features. And it looks like their 2016 is going to be another stellar year.

The studio has announced two original films: Batman: Bad Blood, which will be a Batgirl story; and the self-explanatory Justice League vs Titans. But those are just the tip of the iceberg, as they also announced an adaptation of a seminal piece of work.

In the vein of Year One and the two part Dark Knight Returns, DC and WB will adapt the extremely popular and wildly influential Batman: The Killing Joke.

The original graphic novel, from writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland, has long been the inspiration for many filmmakers. Directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan both cited the book as how they laid the groundwork for their respective Jokers. Even current Joker Jared Leto recreated the iconic cover when he was going through the process of getting into character.

The comic is one that is held in high reverence with many fans. It tells one possible origin of the Joker: As a failed stand-up comedian, he gets caught up in a dangerous scheme with a rather unsavory group of men. With the plans foiled by Batman, the Joker ends up scarred, bitter and insane…and out for revenge.

The other half of the story involves the Joker kidnapping Police Commissioner James Gordon, in the hopes of driving the good cop insane. The Clown Prince of Crime also shoots Barbara Gordon, paralyzing her and effectively ending her super-hero career as Batgirl. This in turn makes her create the information broker alter-ego Oracle.

The animated feature film will boast a fifteen minute prologue that helps set up the story that will unfold.

No voice cast has been settled on yet, but Mark Hamill has made it known that if a Killing Joke animated film were ever made, that he would love to play the Joker. I think the fans would agree that there would be no one better suited for the part.

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