Among Mark Hamill's many credits: voicing the animated Joker

Batman dream team returns to animate The Killing Joke

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In case you hadn’t heard, DC Entertainment is adapting Alan Moore’s classic Batman story The Killing Joke for animated release later this year. Best of all, Batman: The Animated Series stars Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are reprising their roles as the Dark Knight and Clown Prince of Crime, respectively.

Over the weekend, the short teaser above emerged online, as did an extended sneak-peek featurette that was around just long enough to really whet our appetite before it was taken down. While it was up, it provided a valuable behind-the-scenes look at how one of the most famous comic books ever will be translated to the screen at last.

As described late in the late featurette, Conroy and Hamill simply are Batman and Joker to an entire generation of people, each a twisted reflection of the other’s own tragedy. Conroy is the Batman we deserve, and Hamill’s such a ham — in the best possible way. Here, he gives great insights into how he changes his intensity and interpretation of the Joker to fit the tone of the script. “If people want to see a really nasty, vile Joker, this is the one,” Hamill says in the documentary.

There’s also good discussion of how we’ll see more of Barbara Gordon’s role in the adaptation, brought to life by voice actress Tara Strong to allow for a dramatic build-up to Batgirl’s fate, and how the studio is trying to meld Brian Bolland’s classic artwork with the animated Gotham world we’ve come to expect.

Hopefully the featurette will return in a more permanent official capacity, at least on the Blu-ray.

Here and there ...

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Jayson Peters
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