ComicBook.com has been reporting on a controversial addition to the animated adapation of the already controversial The Killing Joke graphic novel, namely a sexual relationship between Batman and Batgirl. Now, executive producer Bruce Timm, best known for his work on the classic 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, has sought to contextualize the relationship and clarify some other inferences in the film.
In an interview with Vulture, Timm clarified that the relationship was part of a concerted decision to add more story focusing on Barbara Gordon in the film. "We thought, 'If we're going to add a whole bunch of new story, let's make it all about Barbara.'" he told the website. "We decided that it should be dealing with Barbara as Batgirl, so we can spend more time with her and kind of understand where she comes from."
Timm also added that the relationship between Batman and Batgirl was deliberately supposed to be messy. "It's tricky because it's messy, because relationships are sometimes messy," Timm said. "But to me and to Alan [Bunett] and Brian [Azzarello], it was all very fascinating to us to explore that angle." He also noted the relationship was used as a way to show how both characters make mistakes in the film.
The interview was also used to clarify that the Joker did not rape Batgirl, an inference some made when Batman interviewed some prostitutes who told him that "perhaps he found another girl" instead of visiting them when escaped Arkham. "I never, ever thought that he actually raped her," Timm said. "If I had, I probably would have changed the line."
Timm finished the interview by noting that he was not actually a big fan of The Killing Joke, but that he didn't want to change the original story to fit his own "sense of taste".
Batman: The Killing Joke comes out on DVD and Blu Ray July 25th.