Last November we learned that Scottish comic book writer Mark Millar was planning on moving past working with other directors on adaptations of his work to being a full blown director himself. He revealed that he would be making it outside of the Hollywood system with private investors and that it was going to start shooting this March. However, at the time Millar was staying tight-lipped about what the project exactly is and who it would star.
Millar recently spoke to STV about his first directorial outing and revealed it to be a superhero movie set in his (and my) native Scotland, with an entirely Scottish cast and crew. The reason for this strict "Scottish-ness" is he realized everything he'd written has been set in New York or Los Angeles, somewhere familiar to a mass audience. And he wondered why he'd never set something in Scotland as most writers tend to relate what they write to where they come from to some degree.
The superhero project, Millar says, wouldn't be some low-budget comedy take on the genre but, "as cool as X-Men 2 was," but without costumes and to, "make it epic, make it big and grand in scope, try and do something that's unexpected." I'm glad to hear that come from an eager new director as with the amount of superhero stories, both in comic and movie form, I don't want to see just the same old stuff only set in an unusual setting (Scotland).
What perhaps sparked his interested the most in doing this was the South-African set District 9, which was done by first-time director Neill Blomkamp. Millar said about it:
“I saw District 9, the South-African alien movie. I thought that that was quite interesting to see something that people don’t associate with South Africa, which is alien invasions, to juxtapose two things and make something quite interesting and quite odd, and I thought wouldn’t it be cool to do a superhero movie in Scotland."
So when is this thing moving ahead? Well, it's not quite as soon as this month as Millar said the last he talked about the project, but he plans to start shooting this June going through July. They're prepping everything just now and Millar says he's planning on making the cast entirely unknowns (as well as making sure everyone who works on it is Scottish!). Summing it up well, Millar says he wants to, "just create a superhero movie with its own unique flavor."
If it tastes good, sir, I will eat it up! :)
I can't help but be reminded - and not just because they have similar surnames - of another comic book writer, Frank Miller. He jumped ship to the world of directing movies and brought us the trainwreck that was The Spirit as his first effort. I'm not saying that will happen again with Mark Millar but it was a point that honestly jumped to mind.
For those who are fans of Millar's comic book work you don't have to worry that he's abandoning his roots and setting up in Hollywood to just make movies from now on. He says he's never seen comics as a stepping stone to get into movies or anything else. As he eloquently puts it - "I didn't get into it to get out of it." Like all those who have a lot on their plate, Millar says he going to, "ride two horses at once."
I really like the idea of a superhero movie set in Scotland and not just because it's my home country (honest!). Just like District 9 isn't the first place you'd think of when someone says "alien invasion," Scotland isn't the first place that pops into my mind when someone says, "superheroes." Still, Millar is from a town called Coatbridge in the center of Scotland, and yet the adaptation of his Wanted comic made over $340 million worldwide. That's gotta' mean something, right?
What do you think of the idea of a superhero movie "with its own unique flavor" set in Scotland? Are you interested in seeing what Millar can come up with on his first directorial attempt?
If you want to watch the full video interview with Millar - where he talks about other things like working with great directors and actors - you can head over to STV.
The latest adaptation of Millar's work, the awesome and violent looking Kick-Ass, is due out on April 16th this year. Wanted 2 is also currently in the development stages so stay tuned to Screen Rant for more on that one.
Image Source: Sam Gilbey (for header illustration)