It's almost a certainty that a sequel to this past summer's X-Men: First Class will actually happen, at some point. However, the film's director (Matthew Vaughn) isn't waiting around for that comic book project - instead, he's eying a couple of other superhero-oriented titles concocted by original Kick-Ass comic writer, Mark Millar.
The bad news for some fans is that Kick-Ass 2 isn't one of the Millar projects Vaughn has his eye on. However, adaptations of the (somewhat) controversial writer's comic Superior and upcoming graphic novel release, The Secret Service, are both being considered as possibilities for Vaughn's next directorial effort.
We received confirmation a couple weeks ago that Vaughn has gone ahead and purchased the screen rights to Superior, which reads as somewhat of a change-of-pace for Miller - a writer better known for crafting vigilante tales chockfull of brutal violence and adults-only content/language (see: Kick-Ass, Wanted, Nemesis). However, Superior has already been likened to a cross between the Tom Hanks movie Big and Superman. That doesn't exactly sound like an edgy or ribald story, put mildly.
Here is an official description of that particular Millar creation:
The hugely popular comic ‘Superior’, which is part of the Millarworld line, follows the tale of a young boy living with multiple sclerosis who’s granted a magic wish. He asks to be transformed into his favourite big screen action hero and uses his new super-powers to right the real world’s wrongs. Whereas most superheroes fight criminals and stop bank robberies, this little boy uses his abilities to end the war in the Middle-East, feed the starving, rescue people from natural disasters and anything else the public wants. But have these incredible powers and worldwide adulation come at a price?
The other Millar title Vaughn owns the movie rights to - according to Heat Vision - is The Secret Service, which Vaughn is receiving credit for co-conceptualizing. No concrete information has been released about that comic book (which will be published in February 2012), though it boasts the artwork of Watchmen comic book illustrator, Dave Gibbons.
Vaughn has an overall excellent track record as a director, between his comic book movies, Neil Gaiman literary adaptation Stardust, and indie crime drama Layer Cake. However, the production process on X-Men: First Class was infamously rushed and the final product (while still well-regarded) arguably reflected that. Hence why it's not surprising to hear that Vaughn would rather work on another Millar-type comic adaptation that would allow him greater creative control - and a comparatively relaxed pre/post-production timeline.
Millar has attracted his fair share of criticisms recently - with the main complaint being that he's seemingly more interested in creating comics that serve as templates for movies, rather than creating works that truly take advantage of the graphic novel medium. The second run of Kick-Ass stories and Nemesis in particular have been derided by fans of different shades, largely because they seem full of half-baked ideas and narrative concepts.
That's all to say: Millar's output of late has arguably been in need of some major polishing and retooling. Hence why it's good to hear that whichever Millar comic project Vaughn does press ahead with next, he'll either handle both directing and co-writing duties (along with his go-to writing collaborator, Jane Goldman) or at least supervise the scripting process.
We will keep you posted on the status of all upcoming Millar/Vaughn joint efforts - and let you know which one looks to happen next - as the story develops.