Barely four months in, and 2016 is already beginning to seem like the year of the superheroes. Deadpool isn't yet a distant memory, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still playing in theatres, Captain America: Civil War is already on its way, and we have Suicide Squad to look forward to.
In the meantime, there’s yet another Batman film that fans can see this summer — an animated one, based on Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s iconic graphic novel The Killing Joke.
The trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke has just been released, and we can tell you what’s in store for our caped crusader — an epic run-in with a very vengeful Joker!
As the trailer begins, we see that the Joker has been incarcerated for over two years, and has gone so far over the edge (even by his admittedly insane standards) that he has no recollection of who he is, leave alone who his arch-nemesis, Batman, is. Or that’s how it seems.
But when those closest to Batman end up threatened, you know that the Joker has an ace up his sleeve.
DC’s animated series have been consistently good, and The Killing Joke — with its rich source material — seems well placed to carry forward that legacy. Some reports have also claimed that it may be the first animated Batman film to get an ‘R’ rating, with The Killing Joke being much “darker in tone” than audiences are used to.
While the focus will be on Batman and the Joker, we’ll also get an in-depth look at another character — Batgirl. The Killing Joke will be delving into Barbara Gordon’s story to tell us why she has chosen to become a vigilante.
In their book, Moore and Bolland had explored the Joker's origin story, indicating that he was an unnamed engineer who agrees to help criminals rob a chemical plant so he can make ends meet and support his pregnant wife. However, when the criminals are confronted by Batman at the factory, the Joker jumps into a vat of chemicals, and gets the bleached complexion and dyed green hair that is part of his signature look. Incidentally, it is believed that DC will unveil the Joker's real name — which has long been shrouded in mystery, in its latest Justice League title.
Batman: The Killing Joke will get a premiere at the San Diego Comic Con in July this year, and then released on BluRay, DVD etc. It brings back Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker and Tara Strong as Barbara Gordon, as well as veteran animation producer Bruce Timm.
Watch the trailer for The Killing Joke here: