Last year we exclusively broke the news that Mark Hamill would resurrect his beloved portrayal of The Joker for an animated adaptation of the iconic graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, and now, thanks to Hamill himself, we’ve got a first look at his return as the Clown Prince of Crime. Written by legendary comic scribe Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke is the quintessential Joker story, exploring his origins and portraying him in a truly horrific light as he sets out to dismantle Conmissioner Gordon by any means.
The Killing Joke also features the voices of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tara Strong as Batgirl, and Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon. Check out the first footage below thanks to a featurette from Hamill’s facebook, and get ready for some chills as you watch him transform into The Joker once again.
DC also debuted a brief teaser of the animated feature, which gives a better look at the animation and tone. Last year, we learned that DC approved an R-rating for The Killing Joke, but the teaser doesn’t quite reveal if the film will take advantage and go full throttle on the source material’s more explicit and disturbing elements. However, everything about this trailer looks ripped from the comics so you can bet it’s going to get pretty dark.
Hamill voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series and in the Batman: Arkham video games, and like Heath Ledger‘s turn in The Dark Knight, his work is considered a definitive incarnation of the character. Both actors disappear themselves completely in The Joker, but bring his madness to life in unique ways. Hamill’s joker is melodious and exuberant, and for a generation of Batman fans, inimitably iconic. While The Killing Joke is one of the most divisive Batman comics, thanks to the horrific treatment of Barbara Gordon, it’s also considered by many to be the consummate Joker story (our own Evan Valentine even picked it as one of the 5 best Batman stories of all time), so now that it’s finally getting a movie adaptation, having Hamill behind the voice is pretty much a dream come true — especially considering he’s re-teaming with the equally iconic Kevin Conroy as The Dark Knight himself.
What do you guys think? Are you sold on Batman: The Killing Joke? Stoked to see Hamill back in action as The Joker? Let us know in the comments!