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First trailer for R-rated animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke goes to dark places

Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment confirmed that the upcoming, animated adaptation of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke would receive an adults-only “R” rating. Now, we have our first look at the film, courtesy of a brand new trailer.

Clocking in at just over 80 seconds, the first trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke offers a taste of what we can expect to see when one of Batman’s most controversial stories ever published is brought to the screen.

Related: The animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke will be rated ‘R’

Along with adapting the 1988 graphic novel written by Alan Moore (WatchmenV For Vendetta) and illustrated by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke features veteran Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy as The Dark Knight and fan-favorite Joker voice actor (and Star Wars franchise star) Mark Hamill as Batman’s infamous arch enemy. The trailer debuted at Yahoo Movies.

Originally published as a standalone story that wasn’t set in Batman’s DC Comics continuity, The Killing Joke provided an origin story of sorts for The Joker, and is considered by many to be the defining story of the villain’s relationship with Batman. The story follows The Joker’s evolution from disgruntled comedian to psychotic criminal, culminating with an elaborate attempt to prove to Batman that even the best people are capable of evil acts if they have one very bad day.

Along with exploring Joker’s roots, the story also chronicles the events that led the former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, to become the wheelchair-bound crimefighter Oracle.

Batman: The Killing Joke will be the first “R”-rated film produced in the DC Universe Original Movie series. The film is directed by All-Star Superman and Batman: Year One director Sam Liu.

Although the film’s official release date hasn’t been announced yet, Batman: The Killing Joke will premiere at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego this July.