With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice finally seeing its R-rated "Ultimate Edition" come to home video (and briefly to theaters), there is renewed attention to the movie's grittier depiction of Batman, as well as just how many people the Dark Knight killed during its three-hour run time. There is another gritty, R-rated Batman movie on its way to home video in the near future, though: The animated adaptation of the classic Alan Moore-penned Batman: The Killing Joke.
The original graphic novel, released in 1988, was as much responsible for ushering in the era of darker Batman comics that led up to Batman V Superman as was Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. The artwork by illustrator Brian Bolland had a more surreal, nightmarish quality to it than Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's work on The Dark Knight, but Bolland's signature style has been jettisoned for The Killing Joke's movie adaptation. Now a new fan trailer gives a glimpse at what could have been.
Posted to the YouTube account Plan Making Mammals, the trailer is completely redrawn to mimic the style of the original graphic novel (above). The result is a different look for Batman, a different look for The Joker, and a lot more liberal use of shadow. There is also a comparison video showing the original trailer alongside the redrawn trailer and panels from the original comic. See that video below:
The trailer doesn't totally match the original art, as its obviously digital origin gives it a much cleaner look than its analogue source material. It is remarkably close, however, and shows that mimicking the original art style would have been possible had the filmmakers decided to do so. For fans of the graphic novel who are turned off by the style of the movie adaptation, it may only add fuel to the fire of their disappointment. The differences between the comic and movie don't end with the art style, though.
One of the major changes to the movie is some additional story for Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. A major criticism of the graphic novel has been that Gordon only appeared as a prop to be victimized by The Joker, and her expanded role in the movie may help address that complaint. No doubt what ultimately happens to her during the course of the movie will be as shocking and violent as it was in the comic, though, which is part of why it earned an R-rating. Audiences can find out for themselves what else led to that R-rating when the movie hits home video and select theaters later this month.
Batman: The Killing Joke will be premiere at San Diego Comic-Con, then release on Digital HD July 23, and on DVD and Blu-ray on August 2. The film will also screen in select theaters nationwide for one night only on Monday, July 25, 2016.
Source: Plan Making Mammals
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