Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Like the novel, the film follows the Joker 's undertaking to drive police commissioner James Gordon insane, and Batman's desperate attempts to stop him. Development of a film adaptation of the novel began in ; however, production was stalled due to the under-performance of DC's live-action adaptation of Moore's Watchmen. In , Hamill expressed interest in reprising his role of the Joker for the adaptation, resulting in a fan campaign for its production. In , producer Bruce Timm confirmed that an animated feature based on the book was in development.
It is the first Batman film and Warner Bros. Originally intended to be released directly on home video , due to its popularity, the film was instead released simultaneously in theaters and digitally on July 25, for a special one-night event, before a DVD and Blu-ray release on August 2, Critical reception to the film was mixed, with mixed reactions toward its adaptation to the source material, criticizing the unnecessary prologue and its portrayal of Batgirl , while praising the animation style, action scenes, voice performances particularly Hamill's and Conroy's performances as the Joker and Batman and being generally faithful to the graphic novel.
While out on patrol, Batgirl a. Paris Franz, the robbers' leader and the nephew of a powerful mob boss, develops a dangerous obsession with her and starts sending her messages. After Franz tricks her into finding his uncle's dead body, Batman becomes concerned about her safety and takes her off the case, telling her that she will eventually be tempted to kill the criminals she pursues.
Outraged, Batgirl attacks Batman physically and verbally, which leads to them having sex. A few nights later, Batgirl tries to apologize to Batman, but he is ambushed by Franz and his men, prompting her to come to his aid. When she arrives and overpowers Franz, he makes her lose control and give him a savage beating, stopping just short of killing him.
Realizing Batman was right, she retires from crime-fighting. Later, Batman investigates a murder scene with Detective Harvey Bullock and concludes that the Joker , currently held at Arkham Asylum , might be behind the crime.
He goes to Arkham to talk to him, only to discover that he has escaped and put a decoy in his place. Joker then attacks Barbara and her father, Commissioner James Gordon. He shoots her in the stomach, paralyzing her from the waist down, and takes Gordon to an abandoned amusement park. There, Joker strips him naked and subjects him to torture, including showing him photos he took of Barbara, naked and in pain. The story is intercut with flashbacks of Joker's origin. It is revealed that he was once a lab technician who quit his job to become a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably.
Desperate to support his pregnant wife Jeannie, he agrees to help two criminals rob his former workplace. The criminals tell him that he has to use the Red Hood 's mask and caped costume, secretly intending to frame him. During the planning, the police inform him that Jeannie and their unborn child have died in a household accident.
Grief-stricken, he tries to withdraw from the plan, but the criminals strong-arm him into keeping his commitment to them. At the plant, the criminals and the costumed comedian run into security personnel, and a shootout occurs. The criminals are gunned down and the comedian is confronted by Batman. Terrified, the comedian trips and falls into the chemical plant's waste pond, and is swept through a pipe leading to the outside. As he removes his mask, he sees the chemicals have permanently disfigured his face, giving him a clown-like appearance.
His disfigurement, combined with the loss of his family, drives him insane and transforms him into the Joker. In the present, Batman finds and saves Gordon, while the Joker flees.
Despite his ordeal, Gordon remains sane and demands that Batman capture the Joker "by the book". Batman follows the Joker as the latter tries to persuade him that the world is just one big joke, and that "one bad day" is enough to drive an ordinary man insane.
Batman subdues Joker, tells him that Gordon has remained sane, and concludes that Joker is alone in his madness. He then attempts to reach out to him, offering rehabilitation. Joker apologetically declines, saying it is too late for him. He then says that the situation reminds him of a joke about two patients in an insane asylum who try to escape by leaping over to the adjoining building. The first patient makes it across, but the second patient is too afraid. The first patient says, "Hey, i got this flashlight with me. I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings and you can walk across the beam and join me".
But the second patient says, "What do you think I am, crazy?. You'll just turn it off when I'm halfway across! Batman and Joker then have a good laugh at the joke as the police arrive. The Joker's laugh trails off while Batman continues to laugh, leaving the ending as ambiguous as the comic.
In a mid-credits scene, Barbara is in her wheelchair entering a secret room in her apartment. She says " back to work " as she turns on her computers. In , during San Diego Comic-Con International , actor Mark Hamill , who wanted to quit playing the Joker at that time, stated that he would be willing to voice the Joker for an adaptation of The Killing Joke , encouraging fans to campaign for said adaptation,   most notably in a tweet on October 24, Sam Liu would direct and Timm would executive produce the film.
The film features a minute prologue that sets up the story. He added that the team had to "add a lot more story" for the film due to the source novel not being long enough to make a feature-length film. Animation to remain faithful to the original story—regardless of the eventual MPAA rating 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. In terms of animation production, the crew admitted that trying to adapt Bolland's art style was challenging due to the realistic quality; they then sought out another artist with a simpler yet very similar style that would be easier to animate, settling on Kevin Nowlan.
The animation was outsourced to The Answer Studio Co. LTD in Japan. Batman: The Killing Joke received mixed reviews from critics. Criticism was aimed at the prologue regarding the questionable changes to the relationship between Batman and Batgirl and the latter's portrayal as well as the adaptation of the source material, though the voice acting from Conroy and Hamill was praised. The site's critics' consensus reads: "This stilted retelling of the Joker's origin adds little to its iconic source material, further diminished by some questionable story additions that will have fans demanding justice for Barbara Gordon.
Many critics and fans agreed the first half of the film felt unnecessary and disconnected to the second half. He's the seasoned veteran and mentor.
She's the newbie pupil Worst of all, none of this opening act has any real bearing on the remainder of the film. Batgirl still comes across as a sacrificial lamb in the end. Her insipid romantic drama adds no weight to her eventual trauma. In response to criticism of the prologue, Azzarello stated, "The thing about this is that it's controversial, so we added more controversy.
We were aware that it's a little risky. There's definitely some stuff in that first part of the movie that's going to be controversial. Here's where we came down on that specific issue: It was really important to us to show that both of the characters make some pretty big mistakes. I mean, his "parental skills" aren't that great. Maybe never having had any kids of his own, he doesn't realize that if you tell a kid to not do something, they're going to want to do it even more.
And then she makes some mistakes and then he kind of overreacts to her mistakes and then she overreacts to his overreaction. So it's very human; it's a very understandable story. It's tricky because it's messy, because relationships are sometimes messy. But to me and to Alan and Brian, it was all very fascinating to us to explore that angle. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw of The Daily Dot wrote of the art and animation: "Each scene is recreated with painstaking accuracy, but DC's animation style does not measure up to the impact of Brian Bolland's s noir aesthetic.
The film's voice acting and faithfulness to the source material in the second half were received more positively. Kevin Conroy is in top form returning as Bruce Wayne [ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Theatrical release poster. DC Entertainment Warner Bros. Animation The Answer Studio Animation services. Wasserman  as Sal Maroni. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved July 20, Retrieved August 15, The Numbers.
Retrieved May 25, Retrieved October 7, Spread the word! Campaign for TheKillingJoke!! Retrieved October 21, January 29, Retrieved January 30, Retrieved July 11, Comic Book Resources. July 11, Retrieved July 27, Retrieved March 15,