DC has been producing original animated movies since 2007, and so far, all of them have been PG-13. Even during extremely violent moments in films such as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Assault on Arkham, none of these movies have been slapped with an R-rating. That might change with one of DC’s 2016 offerings, the highly anticipated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke.
Last night, the first-look panel for Batman: Bad Blood took place at New York Comic-Con, and among those in attendance was producer James Tucker (via SuperHeroHype). Tucker also commented on The Killing Joke movie, revealing that DC Entertainment gave the crew permission to make it an R-rated film.
However, that doesn’t mean that the movie will definitely be rated R, as Tucker reaffirms in a later tweet. And, despite initial confusion, he isn’t directing this film. He says that the movie will not receive an official rating anytime soon. Which makes sense, considering the fact that it won’t be released for another year.
If The Killing Joke is rated R, though, it would make sense. The original graphic novel had some very disturbing content, including [SPOILERS] Joker paralyzing Barbara Gordon – which led to the former Batgirl becoming Oracle – and traumatizing her father Jim. The Commissioner is stripped naked and forced to view nude photographs of his daughter, in an attempt by The Joker to drive him insane.
So, this is definitely not the most lighthearted comic book story, and if the movie is faithful to the source material, then it would really push the PG-13 limit. In fact, it’s not easy to imagine this story working within a PG-13 context, so the idea of the film adaptation being rated R should be very interesting.
While unconfirmed, it is expected that Mark Hamill will reprise his role of The Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke, while Kevin Conroy hopes to return as Batman. The film is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2016. Stay tuned for more news as we have it.