It’s an understatement to say that controversy has dogged the portrayal of the Dark Knight in live-action films. Batman v Superman went from box-office heights to crashing lows in just a single week, no doubt due to both negative reviews from critics and a tidal wave of social media grumbles.
Unlike Marvel, DC has often dropped the ball on depicting their rich universe with a wide, deep selection of live-action properties. Yet their fans have generally been pleased with DC’s animated works, and the company has steadily cranked out some of the best adult-oriented animated films and shows, a trend that began with the widely acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series back in the 1990s. The release of the two-part animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in 2012 and 2013 is certainly one of the best Batman films made, and its story, in part, is the inspiration for Batman v Superman.
So when DC released the long trailer for their newest animated feature, a feature-length version of Batman: The Killing Joke (originally written by the legendary Alan Moore and illustrated by the ever-brilliant Brian Bolland), it set the Internet ablaze. The film also reunites the dynamic voice-acting duo of Kevin Conroy as the Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker, arguably the two greatest performers to ever fill these roles. And the story has long been the source of controversy, as it features the Joker at his sadistic worst, committing epic atrocities for the undivided attention of his caped nemesis.
The film can’t be released soon enough; but summer will have to do.