Batman: The Killing Joke was going to be adapted by Bruce Timm in 2009

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Feb 24, 2016, 2:02 PM EST (Updated)

Seems like we came pretty darn close to getting a Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Superman/Doomsday), R-rated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke a couple years ago, but that production on the movie was shut down when Zack Snyder’s Watchmen bombed at the box office.

The news was revealed by concept artist Phil Bourassa on his Instagram over the weekend. Bourassa said that back in 2009, he had been working on an animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bollan’s ultra-violent one-shot graphic novel. But when Watchmen underperformed at the box office, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on the project. Boo! I say.

Here's what Bourassa wrote on his Instagram page, also giving us a sample of the concept art for the sadly canceled animated feature:


“In 2009 I started working on an animated adaptation of The Killing Joke under the supervision of legendary Animation artist Bruce Timm. Two weeks into the project we were told to stop development because The Watchmen had under performed at the box office and WB had lost faith in R rated superhero movies. Happy to say that you guys are gonna finally get your animated Killing Joke adaptation in 2016. Apparently enough money has been made from superhero movies and adaptations of comics of every stripe that it now transcends the previously assumed limitations of the genre. It's a good time to be a comic geek!”

Although I’m really bummed out to hear we never got to see Bruce Timm’s version, there is now a “likely” R-rated Killing Joke movie coming up this year (please, please don't let it be PG-13!), with Mark Hamill coming out of his "Joker retirement" to voice that cray-cray Clown Prince of Crime (now this has me really excited about the project!) and Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne.

Helmed by Timm’s protégé, Sam Liu (Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Batman: Year One and the upcoming Justice League vs. Teen Titans), Batman: The Killing Joke should arrive on July 21, 2016.

What do you think of this news?

(via Comic Book Movie)