"Batman: The Killing Joke" Animated Feature News & Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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The environment was different for each of those movies when they were in production. Even then, it's not fair to point at those movies when we've only seen one sneak peek and not the entire movie to see if R is justified and compare TKJ and see if R is justified for those movies you listed. Plus, you have to get that the times change and the "ratings creep" phenomena is prevalent everywhere not just the rating of this line of animated movies.

I can understand how some are concerned with an R rating. But for now in the absence of more information, that's better than a NC-17 rating.
 

Troy Troodon

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The environment was different for each of those movies when they were in production. Even then, it's not fair to point at those movies when we've only seen one sneak peek and not the entire movie to see if R is justified and compare TKJ and see if R is justified for those movies you listed. Plus, you have to get that the times change and the "ratings creep" phenomena is prevalent everywhere not just the rating of this line of animated movies.

I can understand how some are concerned with an R rating. But for now in the absence of more information, that's better than a NC-17 rating.

Fair enough argument, besides I younger audiences are probably gonna watch this movie anyway thanks to the web. *Shrugs Shoulders*
 

cosmicjoke

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I think it probably received an R rating, not so much because of the visual content, but because of what the content suggests. Sex, or the suggestion of sexual content, will almost always garner a harder rating than violence. The public, at this point, has become pretty much desensitized to violence. Look at "The Dark Knight". That movie was very violent, but it doesn't get an R rating because we never see blood, and there's no sex. Just the suggestion that the Joker either raps Barbara Gordon or humiliates her in a sexual manner by stripping her naked is a pretty adult and brutal thing. The same with him stripping Jim Gordon naked and humiliating him. People in the US particularly are jumpy about sex or sexual themes. So, I would gather that's what caused it.
 

Spider-Man

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You're probably right cosmicjoke. I don't mind the R rating but I was hoping that given the subject matter they were going to take a more tactful approach to some of the story's more disturbing and unnecessary moments when it comes to what the Joker does to Barbara. I hope they don't go overboard as they movies are prone to do with the gore and violence. Maybe after this movie DC can stop living in the past with their constant homages and revisits to The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke and perhaps start looking ahead. I am surprised there is no trailer yet for the movie or a home video announcement yet.
 

Yojimbo

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Good point, cosmicjoke and welcome to the forum.

I am surprised there is no trailer yet for the movie or a home video announcement yet.
I suppose they're letting JLvsTT breathe a little. Gods and Monsters' trailer and home video announcement was the third Wednesday of April 2015. So I think we should get something by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
 

James Harvey

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Warner Bros Home Entertainment has issued a press release concerning the R rating for Batman: The Killing Joke, as seen below. The official film announcement release (complete with street date and enhanced content details) will be distributed in the near future, as well as the film's official trailer, clips, images and other regular updates.

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
ACCEPTS MPAA “R” RATING FOR
BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE

All-New Animated DC Universe Original Movie to Authentically Reflect Best-Selling & Eisner Award-Winning Graphic Novel;
First Non-PG/PG-13 Rated Film in 9-Year History of Franchise

BURBANK, CA (April 15, 2016) –Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has accepted the MPAA’s “R” rating for its upcoming animated film,Batman: The Killing Joke, choosing to remain true to the landmark DC Comics graphic novel’s violent, controversial story, and making the film the first non-PG/PG-13 rated movie in the nine-year history of the DC Universe Original Movie franchise.

Batman: The Killing Joke, one of the best-selling graphic novels in history, tells the tale of The Joker’s origin story – from his humble beginnings as a struggling comic, to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise theirBatman: The Animated Series roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively.

Since its inception in 2007, the DC UniverseOriginal Movie franchise has brought classic and current DC Comics stories and characters to animated life through a series of primarily PG-13 rated films. Throughout the 26-film history of this popular franchise, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment have crafted animated productions that appeal to the adult fan – from adaptations of fan favorite stories (Superman: Doomsday,Justice League: The New Frontier,Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) to liberal adaptations of contemporary tales (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis,Batman: Bad Blood,Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) to original narratives (Batman: Gotham Knight,Wonder Woman,Justice League: Gods & Monsters).

Animation visionary Bruce Timm guided the DC Universe Original Movie franchise for its initial 16 films, then returned last summer with his own original story, Justice League: Gods & Monsters. Timm takes the reigns once again for Batman: The Killing Joke, reuniting a trio of actors (Conroy, Hamill & Tara Strong) from the game-changing Batman: The Animated Series cast to add even greater reverence to this heralded tale. Recognizing the fans’ dedication to the highly acclaimed graphic novel, Timm has worked meticulously to accurately maintain the intense adult content ofThe Killing Joke.

“From the start of production, we encouraged producer Bruce Timm and our team at Warner Bros. Animation to remain faithful to the original story – regardless of the eventual MPAA rating,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Digital Series. “The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often-shocking adult themes and situations. We felt it was our responsibility to present our core audience – the comics-loving community – with an animated film that authentically represented the tale they know all too well.”

At this time, there are no plans for an edited, PG-13 version of the film.

A two-time Eisner Award winner written by renowned comics author Alan Moore,Batman: The Killing Joke has maintained an unparalleled popularity throughout its 28 years of existence – as evidenced by its ranking as the best-selling graphic novel of 2015. Batman: The Killing Joke was greenlit in 2013 and announced in July 2015 at Comic Con International in San Diego.

Batman: The Killing Joke also features the voices of Tara Strong (Teen Titans;Batman: Arkham games), as Barbara Gordon and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, RoboCop) as Commissioner Gordon. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will host the film’s World Premiere at Comic-Con International this summer, and see a subsequent release in 2016 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD.

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables, etc.) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.

Batman and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and ©DC Comics. (s16)

About Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. WBA’s TV series includeBe Cool Scooby-Doo!,Bunnicula, Justice League Action, Teen Titans Go!,The Tom and Jerry Show,Wabbit – A Looney Tunes Productionfor Cartoon Network,Mike Tyson Mysteriesfor Adult Swim and the forthcomingGreen Eggs and Hamfor Netflix. As the home of the iconic animated characters from the DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including theDC UniverseAnimated Original Movies — for DVD. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).
 

Pfeiffer-Pfan

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I'm starting to wonder if the release date for Batman: The Killing Joke might coincide with the home-video release of Batman v Superman.

The rumored release date for Batman v Superman is July 16th.
Comic-Con is July 20-24th (The Killing Joke will most likely premiere on the 22nd)

So...

Digital release - Tuesday 26th July
Physical release - Tuesday 9th August

Also, a black and white printing of The Killing Joke is due for release on the 9th August.

Yojimbo usually gets the dates spot on though.
 

BigFatHairyDeal

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If it's going to have an R-rating, but be sold in the animation section almost entirely assumed to be populated by children's movies, are we going to get special packaging to warn consumers right away about the restricted content? Part of me believes this R-rating was achieved in part for novelty, so might as well give us a novelty spine and/or jacket to go along with it.
 

Yojimbo

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Greenlit back in 2013. Good to know.

The rumored release date for Batman v Superman is July 16th.
Comic-Con is July 20-24th (The Killing Joke will most likely premiere on the 22nd)...Yojimbo usually gets the dates spot on though.
Thanks.

Well, let's look at Gods and Monsters last year 2015:
  • The SDCC panel was Friday July 10, 2015.
  • The digital release was Tuesday July 14, 2015.
  • The physical release was Tuesday July 28, 2015.
Assault on Arkham Asylum in 2014
  • SDCC panel was Friday July 25, 2014
  • The digital release was Tuesday August 12, 2014
  • The physical release was Tuesday August 12, 2014
As Pfeiffer pointed out, this years SDCC is July 20-24. Based on past precedent I agree with Pfeiffer.
  • The panel will probably be Friday July 22, 2016
  • The digital release will probably be Tuesday July 26, 2016
  • The physical release will probably be Tuesday August 9, 2016
As for Batman v Superman. Hard to say. That July rumor was denied. We know Man of Steel was June 14, 2013 and the home media release was November 12, 2013 -- so 5 months. Batman v Superman might release August 23.
 
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-batmat-

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Nice fan-art!
 
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Dusty

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Darn, well, this is a skip for me. I don't mind the occasional "R" film, but I've always been against more serious ratings for Animation. (Just a personal view of mine.) I may try to see if I can re-connect to someone at Vid-Angel and see if they might ask their higher ups about offering this movie. I'm not too worried about me but I'm not going to be letting my kids watch this or any other R animated movie.
*sigh.

Kal.
 

Otaku-sempai

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Darn, well, this is a skip for me. I don't mind the occasional "R" film, but I've always been against more serious ratings for Animation. (Just a personal view of mine.) I may try to see if I can re-connect to someone at Vid-Angel and see if they might ask their higher ups about offering this movie. I'm not too worried about me but I'm not going to be letting my kids watch this or any other R animated movie.
*sigh.

Kal.
You have a right to your point-of-view. I just want to point out that it plays into the stereotype that animation is only suitable as children's fare. Animation is no more and no less than one story-telling medium and is no less suitable than any other for adult stories intended for a mature audience.

But I can see how you might be uncomfortable with having a physical copy of this in your house and then having to explain to your children that you don't want them to view this until you think they are old enough to handle the content.
 
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DarthFreiza

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I'm indifferent towards the R-rating so long as it isn't needless. A lot of the recent DCAOMs have had some pretty gratuitous and, in my opinion, unnecessary/over-the-top violence. But TKJ is inherently a disturbing story which could warrant an R rating, so I'll be optimistic and reserve judgment on that until the movie's release.
 

cosmicjoke

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Well, you know, my parents showed me 'The Exorcist" when I was like six or seven, and it never had any really bad effect on me, lol. I think people are way too uptight about their kids seeing violence in film or video games, etc... It's like, if your kid has a proclivity towards violence or perverse thoughts and inclinations, seeing a violent film isn't going to create that in them. It's already there, believe me.
 

Dusty

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You have a right to your point-of-view. I just want to point out that it plays into the stereotype that animation is only suitable as children's fare. Animation is no more and no less than one story-telling medium and is no less suitable than any other for adult stories intended for a mature audience.

But I can see how you might be uncomfortable with having a physical copy of this in your house and then having to explain to your children that you don't want them to view this until you think they are old enough to handle the content.
Yeah, I understand what're you're saying; I know animation is just another medium for entertainment, but before the 80's-90's, Animation was 95-99% for families or more innocent/younger viewers. It's not nostalgia that keeps this POV of mine, but rather that despite the great amount of adult cartoons out these days, they are still overshadowed by family oriented shows 1000 to 1, and companies promote them as such. My pops also had a similar view, he felt having adult themes in animation was almost unnatural.
Anyways, thanks for the civility of your post Otaku.
Often time I get the opposite reaction and am considered a prude or naive.


*Also I think I'm also a little taken back as superhero cartoons being rated R, is even more odd, lol.


Kallum.
 

Troy Troodon

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Frankly if there is an animated adaptation of a DC comic that definitely warrants an R-rating, it would be Watchmen. Seriously, that needs to happen soon. I even have a cast in mind.

But with that said, regardless of the rating let's be frank about something--

Kids and teenagers are still going to watch this film. I know this because we've all done it before, we all were exposed to r-rated programs while under the age of 17, why else did they make an animated series based on Rambo on Fox kids? XP

Okay, I joke, but either way it will be the same scenario, both teens and pre-teens will still watch this movie, as they have read the Killing Joke comic before, which obviously wasn't child friendly but that didn't stop us from reading it anyway when we were little.

It's a story that is brought up in various other comics, and even cartoons, video games, and documentaries.

They know the story, so it depends on the kid if they can handle the content. And even if they can't buy it, they still have the internet at their disposal, they can still watch it online for free.

I'm not saying it's okay for kids to do this, but it is kind'a inevitable by the end of it. All I can say is this--

Watch at your own peril!
 
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Yojimbo

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Bruce Timm did talk a little about TKJ in a Q&A at the Paris Comics Expo (props to Driss3000 for finding the video).
At the 04:30-06:30 mark. It did change some of my concerns.
-When they made the movie, they didn't know what the rating would be
-They were never pressured to tone it down, 'make it how if should be and we'll see what happens'
-They didn't try to make it more shocking, they did try to do it as tastefully as possible
-only change was more Batgirl because her role in the comic always bothered him - to be shot and make Gordon and Batman feel bad - so it's like a mini Batgirl movie before TKJ and explore more of her like her relationship to Batman.
 
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