The Killing Joke is regarded as one of the finest Batman stories ever told, and one that brought comic books from the kiddie pages to those who wanted true mature storytelling. Alan Moore’s 1988 graphic novel was dark in ways no one ever expected, with sexual assault, the shooting of a major character (I’ll leave out spoilers for those who haven’t read the book and want to see the movie almost 30 years later) and a whole lotta nude Commissioner Gordon going crazy. Even though Moore decried some of the plot points that went on to shape the DC Universe in the decades ahead, Killing Joke has lived on as a watershed moment in the Batman/Joker story.
Now we have the movie, which, according to the classic Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, will have some major expansions on the plot. We don’t know if we’ll see more of the Joker before he was the Joker, but Conroy has made it clear that Batgirl will be making more of an appearance, before that fateful visit by a man in a Hawaiian shirt.
“They’ve actually expanded it a bit, they’ve expanded some of the story a bit. There’s much more of Batgirl in this, um, so that plotline is more developed, and the struggle, the internal struggle that Batman has, that Bruce Wayne has in wrestling with the demons in the Joker is much more explored. There are a couple of really wonderful scenes that I have with Mark that I’m really proud of.”
Luckily we don’t have to wait too long to hear Mark Hamill back as the Joker one, potentially final, time. The Killing Joke will have a one-night run in theaters on July 25th, followed by a digital release July 26th, then a deluxe blu-ray on August 2nd.