What a year 2016 is going to be for the R-rated corner of cinema, as another highly anticipated comic adaptation has thankfully taken the R plunge. Batman: The Killing Joke, the direct-to-video animated adaptation of Alan Moore's classic graphic novel, has officially secured its R-rated bragging rights.
"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," Sam Register, Warner Bros. Animation president, told Entertainment Weekly on Thursday. "The Killing Joke is revered by the fans, particularly for its blunt, often shocking adult themes and situation."
Register added that he felt it was his "responsibility" to be as authentic as possible when bringing Moore's classic, which won an Eisner Award 1989, to life. According to Register, the result of this MPAA-defying approach is an "animated film that authentically represented the tale they know all too well."
Batman: The Killing Joke stars Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, The Office) as Batman, with Mark Hamill returning as the Joker alongside Tara Strong (Rugrats, The Fairly OddParents) as Batgirl. The film, which now becomes the first film in the DC Animated Universe to score an R-rating, is set to premiere at Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer.
In other DC-related news of the R variety, Suicide Squad director David Ayer told MTV News earlier this week that he was open to fighting for an R-rated sequel. "For an R movie, you have to decide to do it right out the gate, and that was never the case here," Ayer said. "We were always going to hit the PG-13 rating. But the film is meant to be that. It's got edge, and it's got attitude." And who do we have to thank for this ongoing R-rated fever? Deadpool, of course.