Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill Confirmed for THE KILLING JOKE

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Comic Book Resources is reporting confirmation that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will reprise their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively, in the upcoming animated adaptation of The Killing Joke.

Hamill posted these on Twitter, pretty much letting the cat out of the bag:

“The chance to work once again with Kevin Conroy, my favorite Batman, in what some consider the definitive origin of this iconic villain is a dream come true for me,” Hamill told CBR. “I am beyond thrilled to return as The Joker in The Killing Joke!”

“I’ve had the great privilege of voicing Batman for more than two decades, and some of my favorite moments in the recording booth have been alongside Mark Hamill,” Conroy added. “Mark always enables me to be a better actor. I’m thrilled that we’re both back to bring these characters to life in one of the most heralded Batman/Joker stories of all time.”

 

Joining Conroy and Hamill will be fan favorite Tara Strong as Barbara Gordon and Ray Wise as her father, Commissioner James Gordon. Strong, of course, is no stranger to the DC animated universe, having voiced Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Raven in various productions over the years. Wise previously voiced Perry White in the animated Superman: Doomsday, and has appeared on this past season of Marvel’s Agent Carter.

The Killing Joke, published in March 1988, originally was a one-off story by writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolling, not meant to be canon, until it was. It tells the story of the Joker’s origin — at least, as he remembers it at the time — as a washed-out stand-up comic roped into helping the Red Hood Gang with a robbery, and how “one bad day” drove him insane. He brutally attacks Barbara Gordon, shooting her in the spine and leaving her crippled, as part of an attempt to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.

Although the story was hailed as a definitive work at the time, its legacy is one of controversy. Moore himself has been critical of the work, calling it “clumsy” with nothing important to say about either the Batman or the Joker, and that the editorial staff at DC should have reined him in when it came to crippling Barbara.

Barabara’s injury, however, gave rise to the character Oracle, a strong fend-for-herself character that has inspired many handicapped fans over the years. The elimination of her injury during the New 52 reboot left those same fans decidedly unhappy.

Producer James Tucker has allowed for the possibility that The Killing Joke could be an R-rated adaptation, although he also said that the production was not necessarily pushing for that.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will host a premiere of the film at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, with a release to the general public sometime later this summer.

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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