Kick-Ass 2 hits cinemas this week, bringing Dave Lizewski and Hit Girl back to our screens. But when Jeff Wadlow first signed on, he had an imposing task ahead of him, taking over from both Matthew Vaughn as director and Jane Goldman as writer, not to mention that the first film was so well received.
“I think what was special about the first Kick-Ass was its ability to balance humour, action, and genuine emotion,” he exclusively told SciFiNow. “And I think that’s what defines that movie. It’s not a parody, the stakes are real, but it’s very funny, like an outrageous comedy and it’s got big action moments as big as any action movie.
“So I thought my mandate for the sequel was to balance those three things equally but just push them further. So the emotion had to be more intense, the action had to be bigger, and the comedy had to be broader. But I could never let one start to outpace the other, I had to try to do what I could to make sure all three were being pushed the same amount.”
However, he tells us that he had all the support he needed.
“[Vaughn] said ‘Make your movie, I’m not going to get in your way,’ he didn’t come to set once, he said ‘Do your thing.’ At the same time I talked to him almost every day, often for an hour at a time, just getting advice and getting his input on decisions I was making. So for me, to know I had that back up but also knowing I had been given that kind of freedom was just the perfect mix, I couldn’t have asked for more from him.”
He does reveal that he was a bit nervous before meeting the comic’s creator Mark Millar for the first time.
“He’s such an odd mix of this really just polite thoughtful nice guy who writes the most horrible things. He’s just a real iconoclast so I was a little bit nervous about how he was going to feel about me adapting his work. And the first thing he said to me was ‘It will serve me much better if you make a hit movie than if you just make a slavish adaptation. So do what you gotta do to make the best movie you can.’ And he said that because he said ‘Look at the first film, there are things in that movie that weren’t in my comic and I’m totally OK with it because comic-books and movies are different mediums, so do what you need to do to make this story sail in this medium.'”
Wadlow used that support to tell a story that he believes fans of the first film can get behind.
“I actually think why it took so long for the sequel to be made and why they needed someone like me to come along and make it is there was a real question about what a sequel should be,” he explains.
“Because in the comic Hit Girl was still 11 and I think there was this feeling of ‘What do we do, Chloe’s not 11 any more, how can we possibly ever make Kick-Ass 2?’ And I was the one who said, ‘No no no, that’s what Kick-Ass 2 should be, it should be the story of this little girl growing up, and for Dave and Chris too, of them being forced to grow up and the choices they have to make when they actually have to answer the question ‘Who is Dave?’ ‘Who is Chris?’ ‘Who is Mindy?’ Not ‘Who is Kick Ass?’ ‘Who is Hit Girl?’ ‘Who is Red Mist?’ -‘Who am I really?’
“That’s the crux of becoming an adult and if we embrace that then hopefully the movie can have more resonance than just The Continuing Adventures of…”
Kick-Ass 2 is in cinemas on 14 August 2013 – read our review here. You can buy Kick-Ass on Blu-ray for £5.09 at Amazon.co.uk.