The Killing Joke is a fan-favorite Batman story, providing both an origin story for the Joker and telling the tale of how he tries to drive Commissioner Gordon crazy by giving him “one bad day.” The story has influenced a number of Batman comics and has even had tie-ins featuring other heroes, and is now being developed into a feature-length animated film that rumor has it could see Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy return to voice the Joker and Batman, respectively.This isn’t the first time that The Killing Joke was up for adaptation, though. Artist Phil Bourassa recently posted concept art to Instagram that was created in 2009 for a Killing Joke feature that was cancelled a few weeks into development.According to Bourassa, the film was being developed by Bruce Timm and was intended to carry an R rating. Unfortunately, this was about the time that Watchmen was in theaters and Warner Bros wasn’t happy with how that film performed. Two weeks into production of The Killing Joke, word came from on high to shut everything down because Warner Bros had lost faith in the profitability of R-rated superhero films.
In 2009 I started working on an animated adaptation of The Killing Joke under the supervision of legendary Animation artist Bruce Timm. Two weeks into the project we were told to stop development because The Watchmen had underperformed at the box office and WB had lost faith in R rated superhero movies. Happy to say that you guys are gonna finally get your animated Killing Joke adaptation in 2016. Apparently enough money has been made from superhero movies and adaptations of comics of every stripe that it now transcends the previously assumed limitations of the genre. It instead, he seems genuinely excited to see The Killing Joke in production. It remains to be seen how well it will translate, but several of DC’s past animated adaptations have been reasonably true to the originals so it should be a sight to behold. If they do go for the full R-rated experience, it may be a bit hard to watch at times, too.Next: The Killing Joke Animated Movie to Feature ‘A Lot More Story’Batman: The Killing Joke will be released in 2016.Source: Phil Bourassa