Veteran actor Mark Hamill will be lending his trademark vocals to Batman’s arch-nemesis for the animated adaptation of The Killing Joke, one of the most revered Batman stories of all time.
Reports are that Hamill is set to return to the role he made so famous for a generation of youngsters sitting in front of their TV screens in the ’90s, and that he has already completed his performance for the new film.
For many, Hamill’s portrayal of The Joker is the definitive version of the Clown Prince of Crime. A certain generation who grew up on Batman: The Animated Series consider it a highlight in the DC canon, and an incredibly mature, more sophisticated animated series; one that paved the way for a new wave of non-pandering animated programs. Watching the show again, it’s hard to believe it used to air on Saturday mornings.
When the project was announced at SDCC 2015, fans were ecstatic. Later, it was revealed that the animated film would also feature an original 15-minute prologue, helping set-up the story and give fans familiar with the source material something new to look forward to.
When the actor was asked on Twitter if he would get to voice Joker for The Killing Joke, he responded:
You're not the only one w/ fingers crossed! https://t.co/PcKlgRQFaU
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 17, 2015
The Killing Joke is based on Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s acclaimed graphic novel that is the closest any storyline has come to offering up a Joker origin story. One particular part of the story involves Joker sexually assaulting, shooting, and ultimately paralyzing Barbara Gordon (later becoming Oracle because of the incident) in order to terrorize her father. It’s a plot-line that many would consider fridging by today’s standard; the controversy came up again with the 75th anniversary cover.
In addition to Hamill most certainly returning, his heroic counter-part has also thrown a few logs in the rumor mill. Kevin Conroy, who voiced Batman alongside Hamill’s Joker chimed in:
“There’s an online petition to have us do it!” Conroy is rightly enthusiastic to return: “Oh, God! Are you kidding me? I’d do it in a heartbeat…I love working with him. I couldn’t believe when they killed off The Joker. I would love to do it, and I hope that that happens.”
Both Hamill and Conroy haven’t voiced the roles in recent DC adaptations (outside of the Arkham video games), The Killing Joke was written in the eighties, which would conveniently set the timeline in the older DC universe before Justice League: The Flashpoint Chronicles. Things seem to be lining up nicely for a return from both of these voice-over giants.
Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie is slated for release in 2016.
Images: Warner Bros., DC, Twitter