Mark Hamill attends the European Premiere of “Star Wars - The Force Awakens” on December 16, 2015. Hamill is set to reprise his role as Batman nemisis The Joker in the upcoming animated adaption of "The Killing Joke." File Photo by Paul Treadway/ UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, April 15 (UPI) -- Warner Bros. upcoming animated adaptation of famed graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke has been rated R.
Based on the classic 1988 tale written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, the home entertainment release will be the second DC Comics project to receive an R rating following the upcoming Ultimate Edition release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Batman: The Animated Series veterans Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) are set to reprise their roles along with Tara Strong as the voice of Batgirl. The Killing Joke is famous for its plot revolving around The Joker torturing and eventually paralyzing Batgirl inside her own home, eventually leading her to become the wheelchair bound hero Oracle.
"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 president of Warner Bros. Animation and digital sales Sam Register to Entertainment Weekly Thursday.
"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."
There are no plans in place for an edited down PG-13 version of the animated feature.
Back in March of 2015, comic book artist Rafael Albuquerque decided to cancel a variant cover he had produced for Batgirl #41 which depicted a scene inspired by The Killing Joke. The image which featured a crying Batgirl being held by a smiling Joker was deemed too dark and misogynistic by fans leading Albuquerque to pull the cover.
Batman: The Killing Joke will make its world premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July before being released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD later this year.