Jeff Wadlow Talks KICK-ASS 2, Adapting the Comic, Set Photos, the X-FORCE Movie, the Superhero Genre, and More

     July 31, 2013


Last week at Comic-Con, I landed an exclusive video interview with Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow.  During our wide ranging conversation we talked about being at Comic-Con, how he landed the Kick-Ass 2 job, balancing adapting the source material versus realizing his own vision, deleted scenes, set photos, and much more.  In addition, with Wadlow writing and possibly directing the X-Force movie at 20th Century Fox, he talked about where he’s at in the writing process, the timeline of X-Force, how he landed the job, how much of the script are his ideas versus what Fox is asking him to write, the superhero genre, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch or read his comments.

kick-ass-2-jeff-wadlowHere’s the time index and interview with Wadlow.  For his quotes on X-Force, they’re below the video.

Jeff Wadlow Time Index:

  • 0:10 – Talks about bringing Kick-Ass 2 to Comic-Con.
  • 1:00 – Comments on landing the job to direct the sequel to Kick-Ass and honoring the original while also doing something different.
  • 2:05 – Talks about the balance of adapting source material faithfully versus realizing his own vision.
  • 2:50 – Reveals his process behind mapping out the film’s beats and his editing process.
  • 3:50 – Talks about some deleted scenes from Kick-Ass 2 and how the movie differs from the comic.
  • 5:00 – Comments on the existence of leaked set photos during production and his reaction to them.
  • 6:25 – Talks about being attached to direct the X-Force adaptation for Fox.
  • 7:35 – Reveals where he’s at in the X-Force writing process.
  • 7:50 – Talks about the timeline of X-Force, when he got involved and how he juggled those responsibilities with Kick-Ass 2.
  • 8:30 – Gives his thoughts the misconception that “superhero movies” is a genre and what the future of those movies looks like.
  • 9:55 – Reveals how much influence he had on the direction the X-Force movie is going.
  • 10:40 – Talks about the environment at Fox and where various comic book projects are in development.
  • 11:20 – Comments on what project he will tackle next.

And for those curious about what Wadlow said about X-Force, here are his quotes:

kick-ass-2-aaron-taylor-johnson-jeff-wadlowOn landing the director’s gig for X-Force:

“Yeah I’m incredibly excited about it. I love the current run, I love the original run. I think it’s the best book right now for Marvel, I really enjoy it. Basically when they announced that Mark [Millar] was going to be overseeing the title for Fox … basically, they were talking about all these different ideas for franchises they could build and characters, and I said, “X-Force. Gotta do an X-Force movie.”  And they originally said, “Maybe that’s a second step.” And I said, “No, it’s about teams.”  That’s what, to me, the X universe is about.  It’s not about doing movies with individual characters and then bringing them together in a team; that’s what Marvel already did with The Avengers.  I think the next step is to have these teams and see how they bounce off of each other, that’s where you can have crossover potential.  I said, “The first one’s gotta be X-Force and I want to do it. What’s it going to take?” Mark was really supportive and he’s just been a tremendous ally of mine. I’m really grateful that he went to Fox and said, “This is the guy.”

x-force-comicOn writing X-Force:

“I’m into it. I’ve got the story all worked out and now I’m cutting the draft…We first started talking about it around the holidays, but I was finishing the movie so I was pretty busy.  I only completely finished Kick-Ass 2 the middle of May. I took a little break, I’d been in London for a year and then I really dug in on X-Force  the middle of June.”

On the “superhero genre”:

“I don’t even really think of the ‘superhero genre’ as a genre. To me that’s like saying, ‘When will thrillers stop working? Or when will comedies stop working?’ It’s not that specific.  If you look at superhero movies they can be so incredibly different and they can occupy their own genres. I think what I’ve read about the new Captain America movie, it’s really going to be more of a spy movie, a paranoid thriller. Look at where Thor: The Dark World is going, it’s much more of a fantasy than a superhero movie. It probably shares more DNA with The Lord of the Rings than The Dark Knight. Again, The Dark Knight, not really a superhero movie, more of almost a crime epic.

The Wolverine, I’ve heard great things.  My take on just the material I’ve seen, I would guess it’s sort of a Western, right? A Western in the East, which is a really cool idea. It doesn’t look like anyone’s got a cape, so is that a superhero movie?”

x-force-comic-book-cover-second-comingOn how much of X-Force is his own version vs. a studio mandate:

“It’s 100% the version I wanted to do. I worked it out. This wasn’t some open assignment where they were like, ‘Who’s out there that wants to do this?’ When I heard Mark get that job, I said, ‘I want to do an X-Force movie and this is the way I would do it.’ I pitched to him and he gave me a few ideas and some notes, not as a studio mandate, just as a friend and a collaborator. Steve Asbell at Fox heard it, loved it, bought it and said, ‘Let’s do it!’ It’s the movie I wanted to make.”

On X-Force in development at Fox:

“It’s development. You look at, for example, the history of the X franchise: there was a Magneto script, I think there was an X-Men: First Class script that was about like Cyclops and Jean Grey, so there’s, obviously very famously, the Deadpool one. So it’s definitely developing right now, but they’r excited about it and I’m a filmmaker, first and foremost – I’m not just a writer for hire. I’m writing the movie I want to make and hopefully they’ll let me make it.”

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