Sam Liu’s new film Batman: The Killing Joke premiered on Friday at the San Diego Comic-Con. A sexual scene between Batman and the Batgirl has caused controversy among fans. Animator Bruce Timm was in charge of the adaptation.
The movie scored an R rating, which means it can only be seen by people older than 17 years. It will only be screened two nights at the San Diego Comic-Con before a wider release. Mark Hamill, the voice actor of the Joker, spoke to people in the event via telephone. Hamill said the team had been working on Batman: The Killing Joke since the 90s. He then acted as the Joker and said the movie was as insane as fans present in the event.
DC Comics animator Bruce Timm admitted that there was not enough material in the comic to make a movie, so the team decided to “give it some room to breathe.” He said they wanted to give the Batgirl, whose real name is Barbara Gordon, her mini-movie.
The Batgirl has always been one the favorite characters of creators at DC Comics, added Timm. The latter said he had felt guilt about Barbara Gordon in the original story. The producers thought it would be fun to introduce the Batgirl to the audiences.
Timm added that everyone in the Killing Joke comic has a story arc but Barbara Gordon. Director Sam Liu said the movie’s script already contained discrete direction hints. He added that he loved the voice acting in the film.
“By the time I got the s2cript, a lot of the big decisions had been made by Bruce and Brian. It was really smart, what they did. It allows the audience to ease themselves into the movie before all this heavy psychological, emotional stuff that is the graphic novel. You get to understand who the Batgirl is,” Liu was quoted as saying by Comic Book Resource.
— DC (@DCComics) July 23, 2016
Batman and Barbara Jones have a controversial sexual encounter at The Killing Joke
A fan asked the creators team of The Killing Joke why they included a sexual encounter between Batman and Barbara Jones in the film. Screenwriter Brian Azzarello added that Barbara Jones was stronger than all men in the story.
Other fans wondered if Barbara Jones “is pining over Bruce” in the film. Azzarello argued that she is instead pining over the violence around her. On the other hand, executive producer Bruce Timm said that the story was complicated.
Timm told people at the Comic-Con that he liked the opening story showing Batman and Batgirl making human mistakes. He explained that Batman overreacts and then Barbara Jones overreacts to the superheroes’ overreaction. “That is a very human thing,” he added, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Some fans have criticized the film saying that its first half shows an entirely new prolog, while the last 45 minutes show the original storyline. Barbara Jones reportedly tells a co-worker that she has a man in her life (Batman). The latter seems distant after a sexual encounter with Jones.
“There’s clearly an unstated attraction between the two of the characters from the very beginning, and I think it’s there in the comics. If you go back and look at the Adam West show, its’ there in the Adam West show. It’s subtle, but to me it’s always been there,” Timm was quoted as saying by The Hollywood Reporter.
idk how to feel about this pic.twitter.com/gsBGHsYet5
— ☕ (@AcroNite7) July 22, 2016
Timm: ‘everyone had a different interpretation at the end of the movie’
The team announced at the Comic-Con that people have had different interpretations at the end of the film. Timm described the movie ending as “perfect’. Azzarello said that it takes a lot of time to create a script for a movie such as The Killing Joke.
Azzarello added that making a creative product is like solving a problem because teams need to figure out how to make an interesting movie. He said he found perfect the work of voice actors, who “laughed in the right places and lost their shit in the right places.”
— tara strong (@tarastrong) July 23, 2016
Azzarello concluded that Barbara Jones is a stronger character at the end of the movie. Batman: The Killing Joke will be available for download on July 26. The film will also be released on Blu-ray on August 2.
DC Animated will present new films next year including: “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract,” and “Justice League Dark” in spring and “Harley Quinn: A Bruce Timm Original,” in summer. The soundtrack of Batman: The Killing Joke is already available on iTunes.
Batman: The Killing Joke stars Tara Strong as Barbara Gordon, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as Joker, Ray Wise as Commissioner James Gordon and Robin Atkin Downes as Detective Harvey Bullock.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter