The world of Kick-Ass has always been trademarked by its raunchy and violent twist on the DC/Marvel superhero universes, but readers of Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.’s Kick-Ass 2 sequel series know that one moment in particular from the comics earned the infamous distinction of being particularly repellent and controversial

When production started on the Kick-Ass 2 movie, there was a lot of curiosity about how writer/director Jeff Wadlow would tackle that dark moment from the comics. Having seen the movie now, we were sure to ask Wadlow about the challenge of adapting  Mark Millar’s no-holds-barred source material, and why he chose to handle this particular controversial scene the way that he did in the film.

[WARNING: MAJOR KICK-ASS 2 SPOILERS FOLLOW!]

The scene in question from the comic books occurs when Chris D’Amico (under his new guise as The Motherf*cker) attacks the suburban neighborhood of Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass’ love interest, Katie Deauxma, massacres her father, and subjects the poor girl to a gruesome gang rape by his squad of evil thugs. In the film version, however, Katie has been replaced by Kick-Ass’ crime-fighting comrade “Night Bitch” as the prominent love interest that The Motherf*cker assaults – and instead of a violent rape, we get a violent attempted rape that peters out (no pun) when The Motherf*cker fails to… “rise to the occasion.”

It was an interesting reversal of Millar and Romita Jr.’s comic and a scene that played well with audiences (at least judging from the theater I was in). When talking to Christopher Mintz-Plasse and writer/director Jeff Wadlow, I had to pick their brains about why it was necessary to change the controversial rape scene – and then, why it was changed to the comedic moment we got in the film:

Christopher Mintz-Plasse: I love really, really dark things like if there’s a rape scene it’s gotta be a dark movie it can’t be—I just didn’t think it would fit for this movie cause you’re watching it and it’s so colorful and fun and violent and you’re laughing, you’re getting excited and I don’t think a rape scene fits that vibe. In the comic—Jeff sets it right—in the comic they are not real people so you can put a rape in there and you’re not like feeling emotion towards it it’s just people on a piece of paper. But in a movie when you have real tangible people playing these parts it gets deep and it gets heavier on a bigger scale. I just don’t think a rape scene was needed. You know in the movie “Irreversible”—have you ever seen that?

I have – not that I particularly like to recall that I have. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know why; if you haven’t seen it, read about it HERE.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse: How crazy is that [movie]? But that movie CAN have a rape scene cause it’s so fucking twisted and dark; a movie like ‘Kick-Ass 2’… I just don’t think a rape scene was needed.

Wadlow was quick to highlight the vast differences between the comic book and movie mediums, and why what works in one, may not work in the other:

Jeff Wadlow: Well Mark is very smart about writing comic books and he understands that to get people’s attention you gotta push boundaries but that’s a very different medium than the film medium. He said early on, ‘we all know the movies that adapt to comics slavishly and don’t make any changes and are so beholden to the material that the movie suffers as a result.’ And I don’t need to name any names I’m sure you know which ones I’m thinking of. He said, ‘don’t make that movie, if you gotta change stuff, change it to make the best movie you could make.’

I understand what Mark was going for in that scene. I felt as a filmmaker – because I’m dealing with real people, not drawings of people – the audience didn’t need to be taken that far to experience the same kind of feeling. And also Chris, as far as the three leads go, Chris Mintz-Plasse, his characterization of Chris D’Amico is probably the most different from Chris in the comic. When you compare Dave in the comic to Aaron’s Dave or Chloe’s Mindy, [Chris] has probably moved the character the furthest away from the source material. So I wanted to create a scene there that was true to what Mark is trying to do in the comic, but also acknowledge that our Chris is slightly different than Chris in the comic and the audience doesn’t need to be taken that far to have the same emotional response.

The change in approach that the filmmakers were clear to distinguish early on, as Mintz-Plasse told us in an interview a year before Kick-Ass 2‘s release that the rape scene would indeed be getting an alteration: “The rape scene is not in it. There’s a version of it but there’s no rape. Thank God.”

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It’s certainly understandable why the task of crafting a film that appeals to the masses (even as a violent, swear word-filled fantasy) would stop short of the rape line. The scene – as depicted in the comics – is truly something heinous, and the resonance amongst a filmgoing crowd watching a real live woman being gang-raped would definitely set a new standard for cinematic controversy – especially a movie that already has a sixteen-year-old girl cursing like a drunk sailor.

Are you happy that the rape scene was changed for the film? Or were you hoping that the filmmakers went the whole nine yards with Millar’s controversial source material?

Kick-Ass 2 is now in theaters (and comic book store shelves) everywhere.

Be sure to check out our additional coverage of the film.

‘Kick-Ass 2′ Comic Book Artwork is property of Marvel Comics