It’s the most anticipated story to come out of DC’s animated division this year, and the first trailer is finally here.

The upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke is based on the most violent telling of the relationship between the Joker and Batman, based on a graphic novel published in 1988. Written by Alan Moore, the creative genius behind Watchmen and V for Vendetta, and popularly referred to as the best graphic novel writer in history, the animated feature will be the first from DC’s staple to receive an R rating from the MPAA.

Choosing to remain true to the source material, the story is violent, controversial, and shows the Joker at his most dangerous. Originally a one-shot graphic novel, the story tells the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story, then follows as the Joker terrorizes Commissioner Jim Gordon, ultimately paralysing his daughter, Barbara Gordon. Trying to prove all it takes for any man to turn into the Joker is just “one bad day”, audiences will be facing serious and shocking adult themes including torture and violence.

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The most revered voice actors in the Batman universe have returned for the film, with Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker.  The pair are iconic for voicing their roles in Batman: The Animated Series, and Hamill’s only chilling line in the trailer may send shivers up your spine. Tara Strong and Ray Wise rounds up the cast as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and Commissioner Jim Gordon, respectively. Bruce Timm, the creative who gave us the original Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, is the executive producer of the project, with Sam Liu as the director.

And just a final note:  if you thought Batman vs Superman was dark, wait until you see this film.

The film will be officially released at the San Diego Comic-Con in July, and will be subsequently available in Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD after the event.

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