Mark Hamill returns to play Joker in the most violent Batman movie yet

The actor, who voices the Joker, will star in an animated version of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke.

Batman The Killing Joke
No joke The Killing Joke is arguably the most iconic Batman graphic novel of all-time. Image DC Comics

Mark Hamill is probably best known for playing Luke Skywalker among Star Wars enthusiasts but to die-hard Batman fans he is, and always will be, The Joker.

For some 20 years now, Hamill has voiced one of the Caped Crusader’s greatest foe, starting with the critically lauded Batman: The Animated Series and moving through to the most recent gaming title Batman Arkham Asylum.

However, Hamill is set for his juiciest Batman role yet after it was confirmed that he and long-time Batman voiceover artist Kevin Conroy had signed on to do an animated version of The Killing Joke.

Written by Alan Moore, the mind behind graphic novels like Watchmen and the Extraordinary League of Gentlemen, and illustrated by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke provides fans with the definitive Joker origins story.

Tim Burton ranks it as his favourite comic while both Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger previously cited Moore’s story as a major influence on The Dark Knight.

Conroy and Hamill
Conroy and Hamill Image Mark Hamill Twitter

The comic is one of the most violent Batman comic ever told, with events taking place shortly after the Joker’s brutal murder of Robin Jason Todd. In the story, the Clown Prince of Crime shoots and paralyses Batgirl Barbara Gordon.

While there was long speculation over whether Conroy and Hamill would return to the roles of Batman and the Joker, the fans were evidently keen for the Star Wars actor to sign on and even went as far as creating an online petition via Facebook.

DC Comics evidently bowed to their demands, after Hamill confirmed that he has signed on in an exclusive statement to Comic Book Resources.

“The chance to work once again with Kevin Conroy, my favorite Batman, in what some consider the definitive origin of this iconic villain is a dream come true for me,” he said.

“I am beyond thrilled to return as The Joker in The Killing Joke!”

Twin Peaks veteran Ray Wise has also been confirmed as the voice of Commissioner Gordon while regular animated series collaborator Tara Strong is also on board.

While the various big screen portrayals of the Joker have garnered critical praise, Hamill has attracted plaudits for a performance many Batman fans feel most effectively brings to life the character from the comics, most notably through his laugh.

Mark Hamill's Joker Behind the scenes of Batman Arkham Asylum.

 “One of the things that informs the Joker is his laugh,” Hamill explained during a behind-the-scenes documentary from Batman: The Animated Series.

“His laugh should be like a musical instrument, it should sort of illustrate his mood. It could be ominous and intimidating, it could be gleeful and with wild abandon but I didn’t just want to have one rote laugh.”

Teaming up with Conroy for what could be the biggest animated Batman release yet, and busy completing work on Star Wars Episode VIII, Hamill is definitely laughing now.

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