How Watchmen and Dark Knight Rises Delayed the Killing Joke Adaptation
The Killing Joke has always been one of the most iconic Batman stories of all time (and possibly the definitive Joker story), but the film adaptation had an extremely difficult time getting off the ground. It was in development hell for years before it recently started to move forward, and according to a new Empire interview with director Bruce Timm, the third time was the charm:
Watchmen has been a divisive film for fans, with some loving it and some hating it, but for a studio considering the bottom line, it definitely underperformed at the box office, making only $107 million in its domestic theatrical run. So it's only natural that the studio was scared off from an R-rated superhero movie, but with the success of Deadpool and other edgy superhero movies, the time is ripe to make an R-rated Killing Joke adaptation.
Then, the second time it went into production, the controversial material with Barbara Gordon and the Joker came into play:
Barbara Gordon's fate in The Killing Joke is still the most controversial aspect of the graphic novel, and one of the biggest controversies in DC Comics in general. And according to Timm, that's still a major concern:
Luckily, it looks like the adaptation will have a more feminist take on things, as they are adding a 15-minute prologue that centers entirely on Barbara Gordon's character. Star Mark Hamill confirmed in the same interview that most of the new material involves Barbara, which will hopefully make her more well-rounded in the story:
Batman: The Killing Joke will debut at San Diego Comic Con in July, and then will be released on Blu-ray on August 2.