Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke was definitely a "Rated R" book.

It was one of the most definitive Batman vs. Joker stories of all time. Not only did it provide an origin story for the enigmatic Joker, it showed just how far the deranged villain would go to prove that anyone could become exactly like him. A kidnapped and stripped-naked Jim Gordon is forced to watch video footage of his daughter Barbara (aka Batgirl) shot point-blank and paralyzed from the waist down.

In other words, it was dark. It was much darker than any Batman story had been up to that point, and it set a new standard that modern Batman comics still try to live up to today.

So when news came down that DC Entertainment was working on an animated film version of The Killing Joke, everyone assumed it would be toned down. After all, DCE has never released an animated film with a rating over PG-13.

But it looks like fans may get the fully dark version of their wildest dreams. During a Batman panel at New York Comic Con, the film's director, James Tucker, commented on whether or not Moore's story would be softened.

Tucker told the audience that "they said we could make it an R." The they in question are, of course, Tucker's bosses at DC Entertainment. That's a pretty bold move for DC – not to mention unexpected – to give clearance for an R-rated animated movie.

Tucker cautioned the audience that this doesn't necessarily mean it will be Rated R. "But we'll see," he added.

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