Whereas the original Kick-Ass was co-written and directed by Matthew Vaughn – who also pulled in funding for the film on his own – the followup is being financed by Universal Pictures. Helming duties on Kick-Ass 2 have also been re-assigned to Jeff Wadlow, since Vaughn is currently caught up in pre-production on the X-Men: First Class sequel (which is due out in Summer 2014).
Prior to now, there has been some question as to whether or not the original Kick-Ass cast (specifically, Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse) would be returning for the sequel – since none of the aforementioned stars had sequel options in their deals for the first film. (Perhaps due to its self-financed nature?) Millar’s original suggestion that Kick-Ass 2 could begin shooting this summer raised a lot of concern, as such a production timetable conflicted with Moretz’ commitment to the new film adaptation of Carrie. Given that Moretz had no deal in place to ensure her return, it seemed as though the actress might not reprise her breakout role as Mindy Macready (a.k.a. Hit-Girl) in the sequel, much to fans’ dismay.
However, Deadline is currently reporting that Johnson and Mintz-Plasse are on the verge of closing deals to return for Kick-Ass 2 – as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass and Chris D’Amico/Red Mist – with Moretz likewise said to be in final negotiations. It also seems that Nicolas Cage is in talks to make a cameo as Damon Macready/Big Daddy. Presumably, Cage would appear via flashback in the Hit-Girl-centric first half of Kick-Ass 2.
Although most fans should be receptive to the news that the original Kick-Ass ensemble is re-assembling for the sequel, the changes in personnel working behind the scenes may (continue to) leave people feeling concerned. Such worries seem all the more valid now, given that Deadline‘s latest report says Wadlow will direct from his own screenplay for Kick-Ass 2 - and not one penned by Vaughn, as was previously indicated.
When you combine Wadlow’s underwhelming resume (see: Cry_Wolf and Never Back Down) with the controversy over whether or not Millar’s Kick-Ass 2 comic book offers little more than mindless, gratuitous violence, there is good reason to be wary about the potential quality of this comic book movie sequel.
Still, for better or worse, this is the shape Kick-Ass 2 is taking – so here’s hoping for the best.
Look for additional updates on Kick-Ass 2 in the foreseeable future, as the sequel gears up to begin production this fall.