Q&A – Mark Millar Explains How Stan Lee Inspired Kick-Ass

A: I’ve got another way of looking at it, where I sort of see comics are starting to use movies as 100-million-dollar ads for our books. [Laughs]

Q: Was it tough at all having a big star like Nicolas Cage on set on Kick-Ass, with so many up-and-coming stars and virtual unknowns?

A: No, no, not at all. Nic could not be nicer. I mean, he’s probably getting the same salary as every other person there paid together, but he just pitched in with everyone. He was the first guy on set, the last guy to leave. I was kind of hoping for some gossip, that somebody would be a pain in the ass, but everybody was really, really nice.

Q: Who’s the bigger Superman buff, you or Nic Cage?

A: I was about to say me, because I have Christopher Reeves’s cape hanging up on my wall in my office, but Nicolas Cage called his son Kal-El, so I think he’s probably got me beaten.

Q: I heard that your next comic, Nemesis, had only released a teaser poster online when you got a call from a producer saying he was “big fan of the series.” Is that true?

A: It’s 100 percent true and was the most shameful thing I had ever heard. I mean, I absolutely love the fact that it happened. Obviously, it’s very flattering. Hopefully, they associate the name with cash, you know? You know Robert Duvall’s character in The Godfather? The consigliere? Matthew Vaughn has being doing that with me: talk to this guy, don’t do that project, don’t work with that director, he’s not very good. So far, I’ve already gotten three offers and turned them all down, so hopefully he’s right.

Q: What’s the status of your other books, like War Heroes and American Jesus?

A: Sony’s been pitching War Heroes as The Hurt Locker meets X-Men, ever since The Hurt Locker won the Oscar. [Laughs] I had some meetings with people about American Jesus last year, and producers, they said, “We absolutely love it — but can you take Jesus out?” And I said, “Jesus is in every single scene. What are you talking about?” We may make it outside the system. We’re going to start the screenplay for a new property as soon as we get home from Texas.

Q: Any hints?

A: All I can say about it is that it jumps genres. I like the superhero genre, and there’s another genre Matt’s crazy about. We’re co-writing this.

Q: To wrap up, any cool little Easter eggs people should look for in Kick-Ass?

A: This is probably only exciting to me and my friends, but Johnny [Romita Jr., the book's artist] plays a bartender, and they had me playing a Glasgow drunk, a homeless guy. What was hilarious was that I showed up on set in my normal clothes, and I said to the costume woman, “Where’s my homeless outfit? What should I wear?” And she said, “Oh, you’re fine as you are.”

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