Warner Bros. announced Friday Batman: The Killing Joke, a direct-to-video animated film based on the Alan Moore comic, has been rated R.
In a press release, the studio confirmed that they’re staying true to Moore’s vision, which is why the movie has received an R rating. There are no plans to release a PG-13 version.
“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 Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series, in a statement. “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.”
The Killing Joke is an origin story that finds the Clown Prince of Crime taunting the Dark Knight by showing him how one bad day can absolutely ruin a person’s life. The Joker captures Batman in this tale by torturing Batgirl. The original comic was published in 1988.
The film star Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon and Tara Strong as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon.
Batman: The Killing Joke will premiere at Comic-Con this summer, and released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD later this year.