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Mark Millar Discusses Kick-Ass at WWC

Mark Millar took the stage at Wizard World Chicago to discuss the process of adapting the popular Kick-Ass comic book into movie form.
After being introduced by Wizard editor Mike Cotton, famed comic book writer Mark Millar took the stage at the Wizard World Chicago comic convention to explain the process of translating his Kick-Ass comic book into a major motion picture picture directed by Matthew Vaughn.


"[Matthew Vaughn's] a good pal of mine, and he loved the book before it came out. He saw the scripts ahead of time because he likes to see what other pals are up to. And, he said, 'I really want to make this movie.' And, what I normally do with like Wanted is that we'll make the comic, and then an agent takes it out to all the whores in Hollywood, and they start bidding, and it's all out of your hands. Hopefully it all works out. Luckily Wanted did. It worked out good. But what happened with this is that it's very difficult material. I thought, 'They'll never make a movie out of this. It's got a ten-year-old superhero assassin swearing' but Matthew loved it. That was all the stuff he liked about it. So he said to me, 'Look, can we just keep this away from agents, and I'll just get working on the screenplay and give it to Jane Goldman to polish and add our own stuff, and we'll do it as pals?'

What happened was he wrote this great screenplay that everybody loved. There was nothing like this before. It felt as radical to superhero movies as the 'Pulp Fiction' screenplay felt to crime movies. Then we took it to the studio that he normally works with, and they were like, 'We love this...but can you take out the swearing, the violence, the ten-year-old assassin...'"

When it was apparent that they would never be able to make the movie that they wanted to make with studio financing, Matthew Vaughn decided to take matters into his own hands and rounded up $50 million in investments to make the picture. Millar said that he was in awe of Millar's faith in him and his ability to generate the necessary funds, but was equally fearful about the financial risk his friend was taking on his behalf.

According to Millar, there was only one test-sreening of the nearly-completed film, and it scored 100% with the test audience, including the elderly:

"...some of the people were like 60-year-old women. They must have been just out of prison or sex offenders or something like that."

Millar made a plea to the audience, telling them that their support will likely determine whether Kick-Ass receives a theatrical release or go straight to DVD:

"If you can go on the internet immediately after this happens and just give your honest opinion – I'm pretty sure you'll like it because it's really well made and really well done – but that's the one favor I'd ask everyone. You may think it's shite. I hope you love it because we do."

When asked about the rumors that he and Vaughn were conspiring to produce a sequel to Superman Returns Millar said:

"There was no interest in me, but they went to Matthew because he's a very well-liked Hollywood director. I love Superman, but Kick-Ass has been such an amazing experience that I realized I'd rather be George Lucas. We just go off and make our own movies and we own them...that's the model I'd like to follow with future stuff."

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Brent Sprecher

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