Fox to Distribute ‘The Secret Service’ From Mark Millar & Matthew Vaughn [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2015 at 12:01 am,

Fox Distributing Secret Service Matthew Vaughn Mark Millar Fox to Distribute The Secret Service From Mark Millar & Matthew Vaughn [Updated]

It was only a matter of time before The Secret Service, the latest harshly subversive graphic novel from comic writer (and Fox’s own superhero godfather) Mark Millar made its way to the big screen. Now that the screenplay has been completed by Matthew Vaughn, who will also direct the film, Twentieth-Century Fox has secured distribution rights.

Fox was the expected to land the deal since Millar created the ongoing series with artist Dave Gibbons, and it was no secret that the adaptation was simply waiting for Vaughn’s schedule to allow it. Now it’s only a matter of time until production begins, but Millar’s involvement certainly makes it more likely that the original comic’s more… twisted elements could remain intact.

Since the success of Vaughn and Millar’s work on the movie adaptation of Kick-Ass (2010) the match has seemed to be one for the ongoing future, with Vaughn eying several Millar comics for his next project. Deadline‘s report of the distribution deal may not be a shock, but is a clear sign that comic fans should start paying attention. This is the movie that Vaughn passed on directing X-Men: Days of Future Past for, after all.

The Secret Service Artwork Fox to Distribute The Secret Service From Mark Millar & Matthew Vaughn [Updated]

At first glance, one might assume that Vaughn merely has an aversion to directing sequels – after passing on Kick-Ass 2 and the follow-up to X-Men: First Class – but whether or not that’s the case, Fox is wise to keep Vaughn among their regular talents. With X-Men entrusted to Singer and Millar, and the commercial appeal of that mutant reunion a guaranteed money-maker, Vaughn is set to direct a film far more in keeping with the mind that spawned the likes of Kick-Ass and Wanted.

For those unfamiliar with “The Secret Service,” the graphic novel essentially does for the secret agent/super spy/James Bond genre what Kick-Ass did for the masked vigilante one. If that seems like an odd but intriguing idea, you’re not alone; Vaughn pushed The Secret Service to the top of his pile due to several other ‘rip-offs’ being passed around at major studios. In fact, as Millar explained to CBR, it was the duo’s time spent on the set of Kick-Ass that led them to spawn the concept of the series altogether:

“This all started when Matthew Vaughn and I were talking about ‘Casino Royale’ a couple of years back in the pub between breaks on ‘Kick-Ass…We loved the movie, but wondered why they didn’t do all the stuff where he learned how to be James Bond. We’ve both got a couple of friends in special forces, both here and in the US, and even the real life training, without any artistic license, is really incredible set-piece stuff. If you ramp it up a little, it makes for some incredible scenes in a comic and in a movie.”

Explaining that the comic series is basically “about a young, wayward hoodie kid from North London learning how to be James Bond,” the commonalities between it and the ‘training’ scenes of Wanted are clear. And yes, it is twisted, dark, irreverent, and offensive. This is Millar, after all.

The Secret Service Comic Cover Fox to Distribute The Secret Service From Mark Millar & Matthew Vaughn [Updated]

Exactly how excited you are by this news will have much to do with your feelings towards Millar’s unique style and sensibilities. It’s no secret that for many, his reach often exceeds his grasp, but Vaughn and writing partner Jane Goldman have enjoyed success turning Kick-Ass into a memorable cult hit. If the pair can work the same magic, and the property truly is worth Vaughn’s time, it means good things for fans.

How do you feel about another Millar-Vaughn joint? Are you in regardless of what they’re adapting, or will you be waiting to see if this film is up your alley? Leave your own reactions in the comments.

[Update: Fox has confirmed a release date of November 14, 2014 for The Secret Service.]


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Deadline, CBR

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Sounds promising. Look forward to this.

  2. I think I’ll wait and see because Millar’s original work (the aforementioned Kick-Ass and Wanted) haven’t left me with good feelings towards them because they just seemed…..I guess “meh” is the only term I can think of right now.

    The idea sounds intriguing though and I have always wondered why something like this wasn’t made years ago. The positive could be if the type of youths that feature in this and in movies like Ill Manners and various TV dramas and soap operas like the movie and try to reach out to do the same thing. That could negate the gang culture issue we have in Britain with white kids talking like they’re Afro-Caribbeans and carrying knives and killing each other.

    • I live in London, and it seems to me more like white, black and Asian kids thinking and talking as if they’re LA gangstas, when they’re actually clueless wankers: Ali G made flesh. That “Layk, nahmean bruv” speech pattern didn’t exist even twenty years ago.

      I haven’t read any of this series yet (seems to me that everything Millar’s produced for a good while now is, at best, a sparse “what-if?” scenario with one eye very cynically planted on a possible film adaptation), but personally I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the outcome of an MI5/6 mass muppet recruitment drive.

      • True but I’m thinking if at least one person uses it to turn their life around, that’s good.

        Otherwise we should all pick a city (I suggest Glasgow), herd every idiot in the country into it while evacuating the citizens worthy of living and then drop a big bomb on their heads.

  3. Wanted was a crap-fest, but I loved Kick-Ass. So, I look forward to this.

  4. I remember way back when Vaughn was pushing for Craig to be Bond and himself to be the director of Casino Royale. Anyone who has seen Layer Cake knows about the not so subtle Bondesque scenes, so much so that it seems like an audition for Craig. Anyway, when Vaughn didn’t get selected he said was going to direct the Spy Movie that would end all spy movies. If your english isn’t all that up to speed, what this means is: The Ultimate Spy Movie. I’ve been paying attention to everything Vaughn related because, well, this got me excited especially after watching Layer Cake. I can only hope he lives up to his word, or at least puts out a great film.

    • Well, ironically, it was his role in Layer Cake that landed Craig the role as Bond. Barbara Broccoli and the others involved in Bond loved the way he looked holding a gun and thought he seemed capable of handling himself and that’s why they asked him.

  5. zzzzzzzzzzzzz……wha..what??? secret service?? what a bunch of sissys. wake me up when Millar gets his priorities right and gets my movie going.


  6. WANTED is a ponderous bore; Angelina Jole was not intended to be featured so heavily, but the producer aware of her “pull” and presence knew this film needed the “omph!”

    KICK-ASS, one might suspects, is the future of neo-pornography found in violence with all the other stock elements being brought along, clinging to the narrative line.

    I’m all for sex, violence and the rest (even NC-17 pornography) but not for its own sake. LAYER CAKE seems like it was decades ago; and now with Vaughn going to the well again…well, all this chatter will get me to check out KICK-ASS, for which I had no previous interest.

    The “absurdly amusing” WANTED/KICK-ASS/SECRET SERVICE will be facing diminishing return (like the Dark Knight/Sherlock Holmes template for just about every action film) until easing itself into the appropriate coffin.

  7. Hey in the picture at the top, in the background, it’s… Supercar!

    • It’s the marvel of the age…