Conroy and Hamill Return to Batman and Joker For Animated ‘Killing Joke’ Adaptation
While rumoured for several months, it has been officially confirmed via CBR that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will both return to their iconic roles as Batman and The Joker in DC’s latest animated feature, an adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke.
Hamill also unveiled the first look at the film’s animation style on Twitter, which seems to eschew an adaptation of Brian Bolland’s art in favour of the more generic style that has become popular with DC’s animated division. Tara Strong reprises her role as Barbara Gordon from Batman: The Animated Series, and Ray Wise will voice Commissioner James Gordon.
The Killing Joke tells the story of The Joker’s (possible) origin side-by-side with his decision to prove to Commissioner Gordon that any man can be driven crazy due to one extraordinarily bad day. While initially not intended to be part of continuity, the story later became canon, with its most lasting impact being The Joker’s assault on Batgirl, which left her paralysed.
The Killing Joke has become a controversial comic in recent years, with many fans deeming the story unnecessarily exploitative in its treatment of Barbara Gordon. Last year during DC’s “Joker Month” of variant covers, a cover referencing The Killing Joke was met with widespread backlash by fans who thought it was inappropriate, which led to other fans campaigning in favor of the cover. DC ultimately made the choice to not release the variant cover. The current Batgirl series by Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart, and Brenden Fletcher, recently introduced a story that once again cast the canonicity of The Killing Joke into doubt.
The animated adaptation currently has not set a release date, but will see its world premiere at Comic-Con International in San Diego in late July.