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Watch the full trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke

Watch the full trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke

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The first full trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke, Warner Bros. Animation's first R-rated Batman movie, is finally here. Based on the acclaimed and highly controversial graphic novel of the same name, the film will explore Batman's relationship with the Joker, and drive home the fact that they represent perfect arch-nemeses for one another.

'The Killing Joke' is an acclaimed yet ugly story

Alan Moore's The Killing Joke, released as a one-shot back in 1988, is considered by many fans as the greatest, and perhaps most terrifying, Joker story ever written. It provides an origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime, and goes on to lay out how his obsession with Batman originated. Nonetheless, it is without question an ugly story — particularly to Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl. Critics have decried the novel over the years for the scene in which the Joker shoots Barbara through the spine, leaving her paralyzed. He then photographs her nude to torment her father, Commissioner Gordon. The decision to bring that one aspect of the story into canon only deepened the tragedy; though these days Barbara is back in her cape and cowl in her own Batgirl series.

The film version, which will reunite Batman: The Animated Series stars Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill in the central roles, will reportedly endeavor to treat Barbara more respectfully. Fans will just have to wait and see. Batman: The Killing Joke will premiere at San Diego Comic-Con this July. An official release date hasn't yet been announced.

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