Well THAT didn't take long.
Not even a week after we told you that several johnny-come-lately studios were fighting over the rights to Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn's (Layer Cake) live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comic created by Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita Jr., one studio has emerged from the dog pile with this promising film in pocket.
And that winner is: Lionsgate.
If you don't know, Kick-Ass tells the "real-world" story of a comic book fanboy named Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Johnson) who one day up and decides he is going to become a "real-life superhero." Coming up with a name ("Kick-Ass", naturally) and a costume prove to be easy enough - but going around taking on dangerous criminals when you don't have any superpowers to back you up? Not so easy... And when the exploits of Kick-Ass begin to get noticed, and strings of copycat heroes and murderous criminals bent on revenge start popping up left and right, Lizewski finds out first-hand how comic book superheroes get all those nasty bruises and scars - all while hilarity ensues, of course.
Kick-Ass did just that at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. People (including Screen Rant's own Vic Holtreman) were only mildly interested going into the Kick-Ass panel, only to come away wide-eyed and excited for this uniquely fun and stylish film. Just one problem: it didn't have a studio to release it.
Let's face it: a violent black-comedy about young wannabe-superheroes is a hard sell to begin with, and fans of Millar and Romita Jr.'s comic book know just how offbeat and offensive (in all the good ways) Kick-Ass really is, so no surprise that financing a film version was not exactly a priority for any studio. The fact that it features an 11-year-old girl slaughtering criminals and dropping the "C" word probably didn't help in the pitch meetings, either (though it played great for audiences!).
So, having faith in the project, Vaughn financed it through his Marv Films production company, with help from Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment production group. And that gamble looks like it's going to pay off well, indeed.
Lionsgate will handle the U.S./Canadian distribution of Kick-Ass. I'm sure we'll learn which studio will be handling the overseas distribution soon enough. Producers on the film are Vaughn, Brad Pitt, Tarquin Pack and Kris Thykier, with Millar and Romita Jr. acting as co-producers.
Said Jason Constantine, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions about the Kick-Ass deal:
"Matthew Vaughn is an amazing talent and a true original, and he has brought a whole new mindset to the action genre with 'Kick-Ass.' 'Kick-Ass' redefines the boundaries in terms of humor, action, story, character and tone -- it's the kind of movie that reminds us of why we go to the movies in the first place. Lionsgate is thrilled to bring 'Kick-Ass' home to give it the next-generation launching pad it deserves."
For more quotes from Vaughn himself and/or the suits now backing the film, head over to SuperHero Hype.
One good thing about this deal: I know that Lionsgate will most likely leave Kick-Ass intact as the raunchy and violent spectacle Vaughn intended, and we, the fans, have come to love. There was a lot of worried talk behind these blogging scenes that if the film landed at Paramount or Universal, the big studios would turn chicken and try to "clean up" the film for wider distribution, likely at the expense of its greatness. No such worry with Lionsgate (probably why Vaughn and Co. ultimately went that way, I figure).
Now that Kick-Ass has a home, all that's left is the wait: Lionsgate will reported try to have the film (which is currently in post-production) out in wide release sometime in 2010. We'll keep you posted.
Source: SuperHero Hype