Ever since an animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke was announced by Warner Brothers and producer Bruce Timm at San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks back, fans have been fervently hoping that actor Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in the classic Batman: The Animated Series (as well as in a few other iterations over the years, most recently the Arkham Knight video game), would come out of “bad guy retirement” to play the Clown Prince of Crime one more time.
When a fan tweeted Mark Hamill that he had his fingers crossed he’d get to play the Joker in the new movie, Hamill responded “you’re not the only with fingers crossed!” suggesting that it wasn’t yet a done deal.
Well, it looks like Hamill was being maybe a little bit deceptive there, because according to a report on Collider, it looks like the actor already completed his voice acting work on the film, which is set to come out in 2016 (with a premiere supposedly set for next summer’s SDCC).
The Joker is arguably Hamill’s second most iconic role next to that of Luke Skywalker; it’s interesting that he is returning to both roles around the same time after a long absence. It’s unknown who is voicing Batman in The Killing Joke, but if Hamill is returning, one can only hope Kevin Conroy is coming back to play Batman one more time as well.
The original graphic novel, which presents a sort-of origin story for the Joker, was hugely influential on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight. In Killing Joke, the Joker remembers multiple backstories for himself, similarly to how Ledger’s Joker gives different backstories for his scars in his version.
The Joker’s idea that all one good man needs to become evil and insane is “one really bad day,” a ploy he uses on Harvey Dent in Dark Knight, also has its origins in The Killing Joke. The original graphic novel goes to even darker places than that, and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s handled in a PG-13 animated film. But at least with Hamill on board, we know that the greatest Joker story ever will have the greatest Joker ever bringing it to life.
IMAGE: Brian Bolland, Batman: The Killing Joke