Monday, May 17, 2010

Kick Ass: Creating the Comic, Making The Movie

Oh Kick Ass, we hardly knew ye. I'm still depressed about the marketing campaign, the opening weekend, the subsequent significant drop off, and just about all that sadness. But I am holding out hope for success on DVD and maybe even sequel that will open limited initially, and be screened less often, as should have been the case with the first film. I recently took a peek inside Mark Millar's making-of book entitled Kick-Ass, Creating the Comic, Making the Movie, which many sites gave away in contests last month, and a peek led to essentially reading the entire book cover to cover. The book made me love the movie even more and I thought a little post on the matter would be fitting.

First off, this making-of book isn't like the cheapo, I can find that info anywhere, why are you wasting my time, making-of books that I see most often. This book is different because it came directly from the source, from Mark Millar, author of Kick Ass, the comic, who has had a hand in the movie since day 1, as the comic and the film were developed simultaneously. The book provides as much of a back story for the comic as it does the movie, which is pretty awesome. It feels completely comprehensive. It even goes into the guerilla marketing for the *comic*, which is the kind of thing that would normally never have a place in a making-of book, but is completely fascinating. We even get email exchanges between Millar & director, Matthew Vaughan from throughout the entire process. One of my favorite bits was learning about how, to raise money for the comic, Mark Millar held a contest - whoever donates the most money (auction style) gets to name the main character. And who won? Yup. Dave Lizewski. 3000 bucks and his name is immortalized in both comic & movie history. Pretty badass.

The book also gets incredibly specific when it comes to commentary. You have comments from Jane Goldman (the screenwriter) on Dave Lizewski, Matthew Vaughan on casting Aaron Johnson, Clark Duke on Being a Fan, John Romita Jr on designing Dave, costume designer Sammy Sheldon on the costume for the movie (complete with comic design to film design in sketch form to film design on the actors for every costume in the movie), Nic Cage on being inspired by Adam West, Mark Millar on Fanboys, so on and so forth. And everything I had questions about got answered - why did Big Daddy's motivations change from comic to movie, who the sketches of the random "villains" were on Big Daddy's, wall, how did Johnson get the part when they specifically wanted an American, and the list goes on. Plus the book is large and filled with pretty pictures, organized effectively, which I always appreciate. Here's what the book says it contains:

-Millar's early comic book script pages
-Eye-popping romita art, including new pages especially drawn for the movie
-Exclusive contributions from the cast and crew
-Hundreds of movie photos, sketches, storyboard and pieces of production art


The only thing that sucks about this book? It's a cruel reminder of the potential of Kick Ass that was squandered by Lionsgate's shitty campaign. The last few pages are on Volume 2 & the sequel to the movie. A sequel sure seemed definite when the book was published, but despite announcements otherwise, I'm not so sure we'll be seeing that hit theaters.

But if you're a fan of the film, you should definitely pick up this book. I read the damn thing cover to cover and it's LARGE. And then I dropped it in my pool. And now it's all fucked up and warped and I might have to buy another one. But that's another story for another time.