Warner Bros.’ upcoming R-rated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke will do something the Alan Moore and Brian Bolland one-shot graphic novel never did.
The Killing Joke is without a doubt one of the darkest comic-book storylines ever told. It depicted the brutal torture and sexual assault of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl at the hands the Clown Prince of Crime as the Joker tries to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, and the Caped Crusader's desperate attempt to stop him.
Despite The Killing Joke being considered by many as one of the most iconic Joker stories of all time, a lot of fans were upset at the way such a strong and beloved female superhero was used as barely more than a tool to spur the male characters of the story to action. And now it looks like the animated feature will try to rectify some of those wrongs.
According to HitFix, sources have confirmed that the 15-minute prologue previously announced will actually flesh out Batgirl's arc in the movie and make her an integral part of the story. Back in July of 2015, when the project was announced, DC said in a statement:
The animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke is executive produced by Bruce Timm and will retell this classic tale in an exciting new way. It’ll also feature an original 15-minute prologue that helps set up the story, giving even longtime fans of the story something new to look forward to.
Bruce Timm, himself, has said before that The Killing Joke wasn't long enough for a feature-length animated movie (DC’s animated films usually run between 65 and 75 minutes) -- thus the need for the prologue that’ll allow the viewers to become invested in Barbara Gordon as a character before her assault by the Joker. There's also the possibility that Batgirl will appear later in the movie.
Batman: The Killing Joke reunites the original cast of Batman: The Animated Series, including Mark Hamill as the Joker, Kevin Conroy as Batman and Tara Strong as Batgirl.
The R-rated animated feature is set to premiere at San Diego Comic-Con and will hit Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD later in the year.