From his best-selling Joker original graphic novel with artist Lee Bermejo to co-writing Dark Knight III: The Master Race with Frank Miller, veteran comics writer Brian Azzarello has made himself one of the best-selling writers in the last decade or so of Batman comics.
This week, he adds some screenwriting to his resume, having penned the screenplay for the adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's The Killing Joke for Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, and Warner Animation.
The film, which earned almost $4 million during a two-day run in select theaters, is now available to own digitally.
Azzarello joined ComicBook.com during a press event at Comic Con International: San Diego last week, shortly before fans started to see the film. You can check out a short video here, or a write-up of the interview below.
ComicBook.com: In the last year, you've worked on kind of these follow-ups or elaborations on probably the two most iconic Batman stories of the last fifty years. Do you have an encore planned for this?
Brian Azzarello: No. I'm going to retire, go fishing.
ComicBook.com: The Killing Joke is interesting because you're kind of playing with this sacred calf. You have to add material in order to flesh out the film.
What kind of went into the thought process? What were you kind of looking for when you were adding the new material?
Brian Azzarello: Man, it was like just run and jump off a cliff. It really was. Like, "Don't be hesitant or half-assed about it. Just take a big-ass bite, man."
ComicBook.com: Now, obviously, the way it's been described by Bruce was that essentially the second half is the story as we know it. The first bit is the new stuff. What's interesting about that is that even within that second half, you have a musical element in the form of the Joker's song. As a screenwriter, how did you approach that, like knowing there was going to be a musical element in an R-rated Batman movie with that, and you didn't want to break the kind of tone?
Brian Azzarello: He does sing in the story. It was there already.
ComicBook.com: It just wasn't a concern really?
Brian Azzarello: No man. I had no concerns, dude.
ComicBook.com: It strikes me, and again we talked about this a little bit with Dark Knight III, that you're very confident as a writer. It's just kind of like, "Well, all I got to do is not f--k this up."0comments
Is that kind of the mantra when you go into one of these shared universes where you're following in seventy-five years of everybody?
Brian Azzarello: It's on every contract I've ever signed. "Don't f--k this up."