Last night was UGO’s Special Screening of Kick-Ass, which was hosted by our good friend Jordan Hoffman from UGO. Thanks to some kindly blogger-to-blogger love, I was on hand for this exclusive soiree, which included a screening of Kick-Ass, followed by a Q&A session with the creators of the Kick-Ass comic book, Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita Jr.
Oh and did I mention there were some new updates about Kick-Ass 2 and a crowd-rousing appearance from a real-life superhero?
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for our official Screen Rant review of Kick-Ass to know what we thought of the movie. However, I don’t mind telling you that I walked away from the screening feeling pretty satisfied – as did most of the attending crowd, judging by the cheers, screams, and constant flow of laughter in the theater.
I’ll also say this now: Chloe Moretz, who plays homicidal tweener vigilante, Hit-Girl? Yeah, she’s going to be big star after this movie does its thing at the box office. She totally steals the show. I also expect that after the success of Wanted and (what I’m predicting will be) the success of Kick-Ass, Mark Millar will have some serious comic book movie clout in Hollywood. Enough to get his Batman-as-The-Joker fantasy Nemesis on the big screen? We shall see…
A Kick-Ass Q&A
The Q&A that followed the screening (which was wittily moderated by J. Hoff) was almost as wonderfully demented as the actual movie. Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (JRJ) talked about such things as how awkward it was trying to hold Hit-Girl casting meetings over the phone in public places. To paraphrase:
“Yeah we’ve been looking at little girls all week..there’s one I really like though, she’s eleven but she looks like she’s nine.”
JRJ added to that funny anecdote by relating how tough it really is for a middle-aged male artist to secure little girls’ fashion magazines without seeming creepy. Needless to say his wife reluctantly agreed to help him on that front.
Millar and JRJ also discussed how the Hit-Girl auditions were done in full swear-word mode, helping to weed-out any trepidatious parents upfront. While Romita was a bit…hesitant about having a young actress tackle that infamous “C-word scene,” Millar was 100% for it. No fear or reservations in that man.
Poor JRJ – he had to make several humorous apologies to his wife and kids during the Q&A session.
Finally, Millar recounted the crazy story of what it took to bring Kick-Ass to the big screen: every major studio turned it down, leaving independently wealthy director Matthew Vaughn no option but to finance the movie himself, ultimately selling it back to Lionsgate at (reportedly) twice the price. If (and I’ll say WHEN) Kick-Ass cashes in at the box office this summer, those same studio suits are going to be kicking themselves in the “arse” while Millar, Romita, Vaughn and Co. are all laughing to the bank.
Who doesn’t love happy endings?
Kick-Ass 2 Details
We learned that Millar and JRJ are in the process of working on the second installment of the Kick-Ass comic book, and that it will be ready in the Fall. Some other details:
- As previously rumored, the second installment is tentatively titled Balls To The Wall.
- The second installment will be much darker than the first, if you can believe that.
- Millar has always envisioned the story as a trilogy, meaning that there will likely be a third installment.
- Although the movie is sure to change the playing field a bit, Balls To The Wall is not being contrived as a sequel movie; the comic will be its own thing.
- They’re trying to get the comic done – just in case this Kick-Ass movie hype opens the door for a movie sequel.
- Millar has an early idea for a new character (a villain?) who is cleverly named “The Motherf@#*er.”
- Without spoiling anything, a character from the first installment will “rise” into a major role for the second (besides Kick-Ass, of course).
- Kick-Ass was so demented that Millar claims studio execs aren’t even phased anymore. Apparently they’re down with bringing “The Motherf@#*er” on board.
Kick-Ass is so popular that the screening managed to draw members of NYC’s real-life super hero community out of their secret lairs!
Seriously, during the Q&A we were graced with the presence of “Dark Guardian,” a real-life super hero whose been fighting the good fight some past seven years and counting. DG has apparently taken on drug dealers and other no-goodnicks, while also taking time to do community outreach.
The guy (in his twenties, I’d say) didn’t wear a mask (so much for protecting that secret identity) but most surprisingly, he sounded like a pretty sane and benevolent individual. Go figure.
BONUS: Here’s a video tour of UGO’s Kick-Ass Screening:
That about wraps it up. Be sure to check out UGO‘s Kick-Ass NYC screening coverage for more info, photos and video instant reviews of the movie (hopefully with footage of your old friend Outlaw included ).
Kick-Ass hits theaters on April 16, 2010. If you aren’t already anticipating its release, you should be.