At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that an animated movie is being developed based on the graphic novel, “Batman: The Killing Joke.” The news was announced by DC Comics’ Bruce Timm during the “Justice League: Gods and Monsters” panel.
“Batman: The Killing Joke” is one of the most popular Batman graphic novels. It was created by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, It is gritty with incredibly dark themes and tones.
It was first published in 1988 and has remained in print since. It provides a new origin story for the Joker, depicting him as a failed stand-up comedian who agrees to aid a gang of criminals and is thwarted by the superhero Batman before being disfigured; in doing so he is driven insane and attains his supervillain persona. It also features Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl and some psychological ramifications that she experiences as well.
The comic won the Eisner Award for ‘Best Graphic Album’ in 1989 and appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List in May 2009. In 2006, The Killing Joke was reprinted as part of the trade paperback DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore. In 2008, DC Comics reprinted the story in a deluxe hardcover edition, which features new coloring by Bolland, with a more somber, realistic, and subdued palette than the original.
Not much is known about the animated film at the moment or how much of the source material it will remain faithful. It is expected to be released next year some time.