Which Studio Will KICK-ASS?

     August 10, 2009

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You can deride Comic-Con as just a big marketing-extravaganza and to some extent it certainly is.  Unless a presentation of “Iron Man 2″ turned out completely half-assed and slap-dash (and it wasn’t), people were going to go nuts for it no matter what.  What makes Comic-Con important is that it can build tremendous buzz for a mainstream film that’s trying to find a way to set itself apart from all the other big films that show at Comic-Con and throughout the year.  One of the film’s this year was “Kick-Ass”, a presentation that managed to out-shine the day’s earlier presentation of James Cameron’s “Avatar”.

So yeah.  There’s kind of a bidding war happening among the studios.  Hit the jump to find out what’s going down.

kick-ass_movie_image_chloe_moretz_02.jpgTHR’s Risky Biz Blog has a great rundown of what’s happening behind the scenes to get this highly-buzzed film in front of audiences.  What sets “Kick-Ass” apart is that director Matthew Vaughn was able to get it made outside of the studio system.  For instance, Sony was willing to make the film but only if Vaughn turned Hit Girl (played by 12-year-old Chloe Moretz) into a teenager rather than a pre-adolescent who happily hacks off limbs that aren’t hers with a samurai sword.  Vaughn said no, made it his own way, and turned out as one of the stars of this year’s Comic-Con.

Now Lionsgate, Paramount and Universal are contending to distribute the project, which was originally turned down by the major studios because the script contained lots of violence and naughty words.  It’s a comfortable position for major studios because even though they’ll probably end up paying seven-figures for the film as well as provide a heavy marketing campaign, they’ve skipped the production headaches and have no financial risk beyond what they spend on prints and advertising.  Oh, and there are about 6,000 people out there right now talking up “Kick-Ass” and wondering when they’ll get a chance to see the entire film.

I’m sure we’ll have an answer soon.

For those just tuning in, here’s a brief synopsis:

Mark Millar’s violent comic tale of wannabe superheroes is adapted by writer/director Matthew Vaughn (“Layer Cak”e) with this Marv Films production. Aaron Johnson stars as a teen who steps out of his house one day with a mask and a painted baseball bat and starts to fight crime even though he has no superpowers. Lyndsy Fonseca co-stars as the character’s object of desire, with Nicolas Cage also appearing as an ex-cop whose hatred of a drug lord forces him to train his daughter, Hit Girl, to be a lethal vigilante.

~ Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide

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