Batman: The Killing Joke to get limited US theatrical release

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Fathom Events are working together to give Batman: The Killing Joke a special, one-night big screen release on Monday 25th July in select cinemas across the US shortly after its world premiere as part of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

Adapted from the best-selling graphic novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, the animated feature delves into the demented history of the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis – The Joker – as he sets out to prove insanity is only a horrifying moment away for anyone in the latest DC Universe Original Movie.

ICV2 reports the animated feature, R-rated in the US, will be shown at 7.00pm and 10.00pm (local time) in special showings that will include exclusive-to-the-evening presentations, taking place three days after Batman: The Killing Joke’s World Premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 22.

Batman: The Killing Joke will be released for Digital Purchase on 26th July in the US, and then on DVD and Blu-ray on 2nd August 2016.

Batman: The Killing Joke has been a perennial bestseller since it was first released in 1988, and the classic graphic novel got a big boost when the first images of Jared Leto who plays the Joker (with a definite Bollandesque Killing Joke look) in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Suicide Squad film were released.

The graphic novel, a staple backlist title that been continuously in the Neilsen Bookscan Graphic Novel Top 20 since August of 2014, surged to Number One, topping  the charts in US bookstores in May, according to the Top 20 Adult Fiction Graphic Novel chart provided exclusively to ICv2 by Nielsen BookScan.

The Killing Joke was a Bolland instigated project that stemmed in part from his having recently seen the film The Man Who Laughs. 

“I thought about it in terms of who’s my favourite writer at the moment, what hero I would really love to do, and which villain? I basically came up with Alan, Batman and the Joker,” DC editor Dick Giordano recalled of the book’s origins, in an interview for Mark Salisbury’s Artists on Comic Art.

Elements of The Killing Joke have inspired or been incorporated into other aspects of Batman media, such as films and video games.


• Batman: The Killing Joke is on sale on 2nd August 2016 in the US from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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