It quenched even the most insatiable thirsts for violent action – mostly through an 11-year-old assassin with thing for weaponry. It was Kick-Ass.
Just in time for the film’s release on DVD ($17, Amazon) and Blu-ray ($23, Amazon), director Matthew Vaughn caught up with Techland to talk the brilliance of Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl, Kick-Ass 2, and the difficulties of modern Hollywood marketing.
(More on Techland: Kick-Ass Report Card: A+)
Allie Townsend: What was it like revisiting the film for the small screen?
Matthew Vaughn: We’d recorded the commentary the day after the premiere and had been sitting on the film for two years. All of the memories and stories I was reminded of when I saw the cast and crew the day before. When it came to recording the commentary, there was a lot of good material, a lot of good memories in my head ready to be talked about. I think the commentary when you hear it, it’s quite no holds barred. It’s very truthful about the trials of making a movie, especially an independent film like this. I didn’t feel it was necessary to be tame in what I was saying. I could kind of tell it like it was and I think people will enjoy hearing that when they listen to the commentary.
AT: Watching some of the Making Of scenes, it’s hard to picture Chloe (Hit Girl) as just an 11-year-old kid. Did you have those moments while filming?
MV: Oh, everyday. It’s astonishing. She is a phenomenal actress. Very focused. Very professional, and she works incredibly hard. It was just a joy to work with her. Everyday there would be experiences on the set where we would just all look at each other and couldn’t quite believe what she was capable of doing. From her very first screen test, she came in and blew us all away. It was clear that she was going to have a very huge career. As you know, she’s gone on to make some big films. She’s working with Scorsese now, and I’m not surprised at how it’s turned out because she is such a professional. She’s so instinctive and truthful and emotional and raw on the set. And she would do lots of takes and there would be magic there in every single take.
(More on Techland: Well Kick My Ass: The Five Best Moments From Kick-Ass)
AT: Will we see an extended cut of the film?
MV: We do have a longer cut of the film, which is about 18 minutes longer. But what you saw in the theater is the director’s cut of the film. We worked very hard to make a film that was entertaining from start to finish where the pace didn’t drop and the story was always moving forward. And these scenes that exist, which were not in the theatrical cut are very entertaining in their own way, but for one reason or another, they just slowed the pace of the film. There are some very touching scenes between Hit Girl and Big Daddy, also some great scenes between Kick-Ass and Red Mist.
I think it would be nice for people to see that eventually, but for the moment we’re going to wait and see how the DVD does before we make a decision. If there’s enough of a demand for it, we may release an extended cut of the movie that has this stuff in. I’d like to let people see that version of it eventually, but not yet because I’m really keen for more people to experience the theatrical cut on DVD first. I’m very, very proud of it and I want it to get the widest audience that it can. I don’t want the longer cut getting out there just yet.
AT: There was a lot of excitement for the film before its release, specifically at last year’s Comic-Con, but a lot of critics speculated that it didn’t perform well. What was your take on that?
MV: I was very pleased that it opened at number one in America. It’s done very well in the U.K. and in a lot of countries. I think the main problem is that it is such an original, unusual story, which starts off quite fun but gets very emotional and serious and even hardcore in places. It’s very hard to communicate that with traditional trailers. I think you can make trailers that make the film look fun or you can make trailers that make the film look dark, but to capture the entire tone of the film, it’s quite difficult to do in 20 seconds to a minute. I think the good reviews of the film will allow it reach a wider audience on DVD. In the theatrical world, the marketing has to be exactly right, and I just think it’s a very difficult film to market. It’s totally fresh and something people haven’t seen before and therefore very difficult to communicate to people. They have to discover it for themselves. I hope that if the DVD does do very well, that more people may go see a second film, if we choose to make one, when we release it theatrically. I suspect that would be the case.
(More on Techland: The Addictive, Audacious Kick-Ass: A Spoiler Free First Look)
AT: Does that mean we will see a sequel?
MV: We have lots of amazing ideas for a sequel. But nothing confirmed yet. We don’t have a shoot date and we’re not planning on a release date yet. But we have lots of ideas and Mark Millar is writing a second comic book series, so we’ll see what happens, but everyone is keen to do a sequel. All the cast would really love to come back. I’m hoping that will be able to happen, but no promises yet.
The best thing about making this film, because we could do it independently, we could do almost anything we wanted. I was producing the film as well and I could make exactly the film I wanted without having to answer to a studio or any particular person writing me a large check. We had total freedom to do whatever we wanted and I’d love to experience that again. Because you’re in control of your own destiny, it just frees you up to be more creative and to not worry quite so much on the set on how focus groups will perceive the film. So yes, I would absolutely love to make another film under these conditions because it just means that everyone on the crew is having fun. There are no limits.