The project may have taken some time and much consideration to get in motion, but Kick-Ass 2 is rolling forward with plenty of momentum. With the recent flood of casting, it's seeming more and more like the new faces may steal time away from the characters that made the original Kick-Ass a hit with fans.
The star of the film, Aaron Johnson, was recently asked about the changes his character will be going through alongside the new and returning cast. By his estimation, the journeys laid out for both Kick-Ass and his arch-nemesis should be interesting enough to keep viewers entertained.
Since the aspects of Kick-Ass that are most memorable - Hit-Girl's assault on the penthouse, Nicolas Cage's final, shrieking moments, and the slightly disturbing final fight - take up a relatively small portion of the actual film, it's easy to forget what a majority of the actual story was about. Mainly, the struggles of teenager Dave Lizewski to become a costumed crime fighter and find confidence along the way. It was wish fulfillment at its most basic, and the honesty that Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Red Mist) and Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl) brought to its telling made the quirk and charm work.
The cast of Kick-Ass 2 is now twice as large (with actors every bit as eccentric as Cage), implying that further development for either Kick-Ass or antagonist Red Mist (now known as 'The Motherf***er) might be taking a backseat. But in a recent interview while discussing his upcoming drama Anna Karenina, Aaron Johnson provided some promising words concerning his character's arc.
Speaking with MTV, Johnson addressed the usual expectations of a sequel featuring a bigger, badder superhero costume for his crime-fighting persona. New costumes may be in store for some, but Dave Lizewski's changes won't be as readily apparent:
"For me, I'm very much the same, I'm back in the wet suit. But there are quite a few alterations on others. You'll see that there's not such a transition in him at first, but there is a journey that he goes on.
"I think there's a challenge in trying to make him grow as a person and develop. Have a journey and an arc, I think there's a challenge in that. But he's got to have some similarity to the last one."
The character arc of Dave Lizewski through the first Kick-Ass was pivotal, as it drove most of the events of the film. With powerful personalities like Jim Carrey or John Leguizamo on board for Kick-Ass 2, Dave will be one of the few common links for fans to identify with. If that's the case, it's good to hear that Johnson is focusing on bringing a sense of depth and maturation.
When asked about the changes coming to Mintz-Plasse's Red Mist, Johnson spoke highly of the story being concocted for the character, and confirmed once again that the more controversial aspects of the original comic will not be appearing:
"It's pretty surprising, the journey he goes on, and fantastic. It's a really strong role for him. In the comic books, they tackle quite a few disturbing things that I don't think we're going to put in, for the better, but yes, I think it's got more of a narrative."
It wasn't hard to guess that the 'disturbing' scenes in the comic wouldn't be making the cut, despite how adamant series creator Mark Millar was that 'every single one' would be adapted. We'll echo Johnson's statement that a stronger, more complicated story arc will be interesting to see in the hands of Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as most of his mainstream roles have tread the same ground.
Has Mother Russia Been Cast?
One of the most highly-anticipated additions to Kick-Ass 2's cast is undoubtedly Mother Russia, a towering former KGB and Spetsnaz member turned personal bodyguard to Red Mist. After director Jeff Wadlow tweeted a teaser image of the actress on set, Bleeding Cool reported that Russian bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina had been cast as in the role.
(Check out this Comic Book Movie article for a set photo that many believe features Kurkulina in her Mother Russia attire.)
Standing at 6'2" and weighing in at over 265 lbs of muscle, Kurkulina more than fits the bill. With Mark Millar (who admittedly enjoys exaggerating) already calling the fight between Mother Russia and Hit-Girl "one of the most brutal and epic battles in cinema," we can only hope that Kurkulina's performance when not in combat will be equally up to snuff. If not, at least there should be one incredible fight scene to look forward to. We'd set the bar a little bit lower than Millar, though.
Strong story and action that goes beyond the limits of the first film may be a tricky balance to strike for Wadlow and company, but the ever-increasing amount of talent getting involved should be a sign of good things to come.
Kick-Ass 2 is scheduled for a June 28th, 2013 release date.
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