The 2010 film Kick-Ass seemed like a refreshing twist on the superhero genre at the time. Based on Mark Millar’s ultra-violent comic book series and directed by Matthew Vaughn, it followed the titular hero, a kid named Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who decided to take down criminals despite a lack of training or super powers.
The 2013 follow-up Kick-Ass 2 was directed by Never Back Down helmer Jeff Wadlow and saw Kick-Ass team up with the now-teenaged Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) to join forces with other superheroes like the deranged Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). While we liked it well enough, the sequel failed to hit the same box office stride as the original, stalling the notion of a Kick-Ass 3 to finish the story.
The comic book’s creators, Mark Millar and artist John Romita, Jr. recently spoke to CBR (via CBM) about the just-released Kick-Ass 3 #8 comic, which closes out the book series. When asked about the viability of the movie franchise at this point, Millar broke down the numbers:
With “Kick-Ass,” it was a no brainer. It was made for $28 million and made $100 million back and then made another $140 million on DVD. So for the money guys, it was a $28 million investment that made $240 million. That’s a slam dunk. You’re getting your sequel. The second one didn’t make as much. It cost a little less at around $24 million, made $61 million and made about $100 million again on DVD and TV rights. It was still profitable. It was by no means ‘The Lone Ranger.’ But does that mean we’ll make another one again? I don’t know. It’s definitely up in the air, and we’ll just have to see. Matthew [Vaughn] is a guy who I trust to make that decision. If he decides he does want to do it, I know he’ll get it done well. And he’s got the movie rights, so it’s ultimately his decision. I speak to Matthew every day, and we haven’t discussed ‘Kick-Ass 3,’ so who knows? The option is always open.
Despite Kick-Ass 2 making a profit on another modest budget, the reduced box office take could be a result of any number of factors. The market is now blanketed with comic book movies and franchises, but unique spins on the genre – such as Captain America 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy - have fans excited all over again. Kick-Ass 2 seemed overall like more of the same in comparison.
Of course, the fact that series newcomer Jim Carrey publicly denounced the movie’s violence and refused to promote the film didn’t help the movie’s PR. Millar’s co-creator, John Romita Jr., made his feelings on that particular topic very plain:
As for Jim Carrey, I know I’ll never work with that bonehead again, so let me say this. I think Mark and I have talked about this before, but here’s a guy who could have capitalized on the character he played and played it toward his anti-gun stance. The character he played gave up weapons – gave up guns — and became a good guy. Anybody with three quarters of an education could have figured out how to fold that idea in with their anti-gun ideas. He’s not a smart enough guy to do that. He cashed his check and took his money, and then he went and pulled a bunch of crap on our film. I say “our film,” because a lot of people worked on that. He made people suffer that had jobs and needed every dime from this. I’m not talking about Mark and I. I’m talking about people in the offices and people behind the camera that worked their butts off for this. He took money out of their pockets, and he should be ashamed of himself. I’ve always wanted to say that, and I’ll stand on a chair and look him in the eye and tell him that’s what I think.
The question of Carrey’s posturing aside, it remains to be seen how much fans want another Kick-Ass movie. A third film’s viability may partially hinge on Matthew Vaughn’s next adaptation of a Millar comic, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which releases in February of 2015 against the adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.
The box office performance of The Secret Service may in turn help decide the fate of the other Millarworld comics with films in development, like Superior, Nemesis, and Starlight. All of these titles are different enough from each other that they all bring something unique to the genre, but Kick-Ass’s time in the spotlight might be over.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Do you want a Kick-Ass 3 or something different from Millarworld?
Kick-Ass 3 is currently in an unknown stage of development.