Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More Batman! (adapting a graphic novel into a full length animated feature)

A short featurette has been released for the upcoming animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke, based off of a graphic novel of the same name that tells the origin story of Batman's greatest villain, Joker. Aside from the all-star cast of voice actors, including Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Mark Hamill (who had previously retired from the role, saying that he'd only ever reprise it if they made a Killing Joke movie) as Joker, I'm incredibly excited to see one of the greatest Batman stories ever told retold through this medium. It's a very dark story, and accurately portraying its content would be very difficult to do in any movie rated below R, and I can't think of many other good full length R-rated animated movies out there.

Moving away from the story, I imagine one of the more difficult parts of this movie is transitioning the still imagery of the graphic novel into an animated, non-stop medium. As the producers of this movie discuss, the art in The Killing Joke is very beautiful and memorable, but not easy to accurately reflect in an animated movie. Because the visuals of this story are so important in drawing the reader/viewer in, though, it would be a disservice to the original work to simply take the plot and put in into a new visual setting. In order to replicate the feel of the novel, the people working on this movie would have to attempt to make the movie look as similar to the novel as possible without taking away from either the quality of the animation or the iconic feel of the original art.

Here's the 10 minute featurette where the producers and voice actors discuss the movie. If you're a fan of Batman and/or comics in general and you haven't already read The Killing Joke (which you should absolutely do), make sure you find the time to watch this movie when it comes out this summer.

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