"What LOCK, STOCK [AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS] did for gangster movies, we're doing for comic book/superhero films."
Matthew Vaughn is very pleased with KICK-ASS. Having test screened the film a few days ago, he is 100% confident that he has done justice to the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. comic book - which means he's made a wild, R-rated movie about a high school kid who suddenly decides he wants to become a superhero.
Judging from the second draft of the screenplay he wrote with Jane Goldman, he certainly had the makings of a great movie on the page. I just wasn't sure if all of the narrative's oddball elements - the eleven-year-old schoolgirl assassin Hit Girl in particular - were going to jibe onscreen. But Vaughn, who made this film outside of the studio system (and it's still without a distributor), is calling his shot. And if all goes according to his plan, you'll be checking out KICK-ASS in the first quarter of 2010.
And if you're going to be at Comic Con in two weeks, your reaction could very well help determine the fortunes of KICK-ASS. At 5:45 PM on Thursday in Hall H (where they'll probably still be mopping the floors after the 3:00 AVATAR presentation), Vaughn is going to screen select scenes from the film. This will be the first time anyone outside of the test screening process has seen footage from KICK-ASS, and this will essentially be a make-or-break moment similar to that experienced by Zack Snyder with 300 back in 2006. If the crowd goes wild, it'll be up to some lucky studio to build that buzz in advance of the movie's spring 2010 release. If it falls flat, it'll be THE SPIRIT all over again (without a distributor in place).
I'm reticent to hype the movie up too much, but Vaughn's enthusiasm during our phone interview this morning was palpable. He thinks he's got something special. And since I'm already a believer in his talent (based on LAYER CAKE alone), I'm not about to doubt him.
For more on KICK-ASS, check back Monday morning for my exclusive interview with Vaughn. And for you Comic Con attendees, be sure to muscle your way into Hall H for the Thursday panel, which will feature Vaughn, Nicolas "Big Daddy" Cage, Christopher "Red Mist" Mintz-Plasse, John Romita Jr. and a "special guest".