Matthew Vaughn was going to make X-Men III. If Kick-Ass is any indication of what he would have done with the Marvel franchise, it’s no wonder they went the safe route. Vaughn showed some Kick-Ass scenes at Comic Con and landed the film distribution, from Lionsgate of course. They’ll put the film out next year, and we got to join Vaughn in a roundtable for a preview of the uber violent comic book adaptation.
Q: Is this more your sensibility than some big studio, big franchise, well-known comic book?
Matthew Vaughn: I’d like to do a big studio franchise in this style, but yeah. I think the studio movies… Well, The Dark Knight showed that you can, and Iron Man in a way, showed that you can mix it up a bit. Yeah, I’d love to do a big studio flick.
Q: Out of all these outrageous characters, did one become kind of like your favorite child?
Matthew Vaughn: Hit Girl. Yeah, she’s great. She’s just great, she really is. And she’s brilliant.
Q: How did Nicolas Cage get involved?
Matthew Vaughn: Nic is a big comic book fan, and he just read the script and went, “This is cool. I’m in.” Simple as that. You know, Nic wants to do good work, and he was very cool. Literally, we sent him the script and he read it and said, “I’m in.” So it was a very easy process.
Q: What sort of crazy action can we look forward to?
Matthew Vaughn: Well, it’s 11-year-old girls slicing and dicing people, and getting shot. I mean, I’m very bored of the way most of the big movies shoot action, all this shaky camera, handheld, close cutting, quick cutting. So I’ve tried to put a narrative story into every action sequence.
Q: How violent is it?
Matthew Vaughn: Violent as it can be. Violent.
Q: Is it full-on R-rated?
Matthew Vaughn: Full-on, but it’s got a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, so it’s not gratuitous. But it is violent. Very violent.
Q: What kind of stunt is the hardest to film?
Matthew Vaughn: A good one. I mean, dangerous ones as well, probably are. With modern technology, you can do anything nowadays. Probably an original stunt is hard to film, something that people haven't seen before.
Q: Do you want to do something different after this?
Matthew Vaughn: Well, I’ve managed I think, from Layer Cake, Stardust, to Kick-Ass. My rule is, if there’s a story I want to tell, then I’ll do it. So I don't know what it will be next. If I have to think too hard, then I know it’s not the right movie for me because either I just see it in my head and go off and make it, or I don’t. I have no idea what will be next.
Q: For movies like this, that have such a fan following before it even comes out, are you the type to pay attention to the fan buzz on the internet?
Matthew Vaughn: I’m on there reading it. Don’t take it to heart, I just think if there’s a good idea, I’ll listen. If it’s a bad idea, I won't. But I think it’s important that the fans are happy.
Q: Does the movie have a message? Does Dave learn something through his experience?
Matthew Vaughn: He does. What Dave learns is, he goes on a big journey. At the beginning of the movie, he says, “Why does nobody help people?” Then he falls in love with someone, so he stops helping people. And then he starts helping people. And he realizes that the reason it stops most people from helping people in danger is that they’ve got to lose. And he realizes that a real hero is someone who, even with something to lose, still does, takes a risk.
Q: Do you think this film could inspire any copycats?
Matthew Vaughn: I hope not. But at the same time, I know there already have been copycats from the comic already. So, the comic has inspired copy cats, not the film.
Q: Isn’t the point that he gets beat up, and it doesn't work?
Matthew Vaughn: He has the sh*t kicked out of him but there might be some moron out there who thinks that’s a good idea.
Q: Do you use a lot of CGI?
Matthew Vaughn: Little as possible. I hate it. F*cking green screen. It’s like, for me, CGI is for when you really can't do it in camera. I use it when I have to, but I just think it’s fake.
Q: What does that do to your schedule, when you’re shooting stuff in camera?
Matthew Vaughn: Our schedules are non-existent anyway. I’m trained in independent filming. So we just shoot and get it done.