Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has accepted the MPAA’s “R” rating for its upcoming animated feature release, Batman: The Killing Joke. WB has opted to stay true to the landmark DC Comics graphic novel’s violent, controversial story, and the result is the first ever movie in the nine-year history of the DC Universe Original Movie franchise to carry a stricter rating than PG-13.
“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, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series. “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.”
Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the all-time best-selling graphic novels, diving into the Joker’s background to explore his twisted journey from struggling comic to arch nemesis of the Dark Knight. For the movie, actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill once again return to the DC animation universe to voice Batman and The Joker, and they are joined by their Batman: The Animated Series co-star Tara Strong, voicing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame voices Commissioner Gordon.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will host the film’s world premiere at Comic-Con International this summer, with a disc and digital release to follow. At this time, there are no plans for a PG-13 version.