Despite most of the information about the release of Batman: The Killing Joke being released last week, Warner Bros. has sent out the official press release for the film. The film will release on August 2, 2016 on Blu-ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD. The film will release one week earlier on July 26 on Digital HD.
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Killing Joke takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime – from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is – setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, Batman: The Killing Joke stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades – spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless.
Published by DC Comics in 1988, the two-time Eisner Award winning Batman: The Killing Joke graphic novel has maintained an unparalleled popularity throughout its 28 years of existence – as evidenced by its recent ranking as the best-selling graphic novel of 2015.
“Batman: The Killing Joke presents one of the most compelling stories in the annals of Batman’s adventures: the evolution of The Joker from normalcy to criminal insanity. This was a very challenging story to tell because of the intense, often disturbing storyline, but we are extremely pleased with how true to the graphic novel we have been in this original film.” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is proud to release Batman: The Killing Joke as an authentic representation of its revered story for both longtime fans and new fans alike.”
The celebrity-laden cast is led by Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars franchise) as they reprise their seminal roles as the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and The Joker, respectively. The cast also features Tara Strong (Teen Titans; Batman: Arkham games), as Barbara Gordon and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, RoboCop) as Commissioner Gordon.
Batman: The Killing Joke is directed by Sam Liu (Justice League vs. Teen Titans) from a script by Eisner Award-winning writer Brian Azzarello. Bruce Timm and Sam Register are executive producers, and Alan Burnett is co-producer. Benjamin Melniker & Michael Uslan are executive producers.
AS far as the special features go, the DVD version will include a special look at the next animated DC Universe film. There are two different versions of the Blu-ray release, with the deluxe edition including a limited edition Joker figurine. Both versions will not only feature the special look at the next animated DC film, but also the following features:
- Featurette – “Batman: The Killing Joke – Madness Set To Music” – Jim Gordon must bear witness to the most disturbing images any father could imagine while a maniac entices his break from sanity in song. This documentary looks at the step-by-process of one of the most crucial scenes in Batman: The Killing Joke, including the methodology James Tucker used as he storyboarded Brian Bolland’s stunning work for the screen; Dynamic Music Partners composers/lyricists’ creative merging of original music with the poetic words from the graphic novel to provoke the desired feelings and emotions for this critical scene; and actor Mark Hamill’s physical, devoted performance to capturing the world¹s most notorious Super-Villain in song.
- Featurette – “Many Shades of Joker: The Tale of The Killing Joke” – Brian Bolland’s artwork is instantly recognizable to comic book enthusiasts all over the world. Known for his amazing cover art, it was a rare inclusion into the body of a graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, that helped the perennial story of Batman and The Joker remain a fan favorite for decades to come. Combined with the graphic novel’s original script – which is more than just the telling of a story, but an intricate map explaining every stop along the way to the end of a fantastic journey – this documentary reveals the artistic process behind The Killing Joke’s distinct style. We’ll learn how artists and writers excelled at conveying story and human emotion one panel at a time, mesmerizing readers with unforgettable stories and humanized depictions of heroes and villains. And why after nearly 30 years in print, Batman: The Killing Joke is more thought provoking than ever, as its socio-economic themes are relatable to generation after generation.
- From the DC Comics Vault – Two 22-minute episodes: 1. The New Batman Adventures – “Old Wounds” 2. Batman: The Animated Series – “Christmas with The Joker”
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