Jeff Wadlow


When Kick-Ass hit theaters in 2010, it tainted comic book movies for me. Bringing a sense of gore and grit to escapism, it would come to color other caped members of the genre. The most recent example is Man of Steel which features a hefty, highly debated death toll, but doesn’t feature much time for reflection because, of course, they needed to have a female soldier comment on how hot Superman is at the end. In a different view on the same neighborhood, Joss Whedon actually showed people being saved amid the destructive aftermath to his battle in The Avengers. Captain America earns the thanks of a grateful group, but is it realistic that an entire alien army stormed through downtown New York City with several flying football fields, but everyone was evacuated in a few minutes? It’s difficult to shake the potential for a death toll when you fictionally destroy that many city blocks, but Kick-Ass made the loss of a single life seem grisly and as powerful as a steaming locomotive.



“So, tell me, Jeff, what’s it like to work with Jim Carrey?” I might as well just have started off with that question when interviewing Kick-Ass 2 ‘s writer and director, Jeff Wadlow. After seeing the film, how do you not ask about Carrey’s performance? He’s made fans with his more kid-driven pictures, which is fine, but in the past nine years, his only genuinely great performance to speak of is I Love You Phillip Morris. Now with Kick-Ass 2, Carrey has another new performance that can stand amongst his finest work. So discussing Wadlow’s collaboration with Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes is a given. He’s not the Big Daddy of the sequel; it’s a whole different burst of energy. The whole film feels that way. Wadlow kept in touch with the first film’s sensibility, but he takes certain elements to new extremes. Keep reading to see what else Wadlow had to say about the Kick-Ass 2:



If there’s any lingering doubt that The Bechdel Test is hopelessly out of date and no longer the standard by which films with even the slightest feminist lean (or, at the very least, films with a basic respect for the complexities of female characters) should be judged, Jeff Wadlow’s Kick-Ass 2 handily puts the final nail in that critical coffin. This week’s follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 adaptation of the Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. comic book series is violent, vile, and ugly on its own, but the application of the so-called Bechdel test has the reverse effect that it should – the film passes, and it’s instantly even more violent, vile, and ugly. If you’re unfamiliar with the test, it’s simple enough to break down. First attributed to American cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985 via a character in her strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” the Bechdel test originally had just three rules to determine whether or not a film (at the time, the test was only applied to the cinematic arts, though that’s changed over time) portrayed women in a diverse enough manner and didn’t possess a gender bias (which has often been interpreted as a test to see if a film has a feminist lean to it, though that was never its intent). Those rules are as such:  It has to have at least two women in it,  who talk to each other,  about something besides a man. The test now also regularly includes a fourth […]


Kick-Ass 2

There have only been three adaptations of Mark Millar’s comic books thus far, but it’s impressive how faithful they’ve all been. Wanted drifts from the page a bit, but it still captures Millar’s often mean-spirited characters and worlds with reverence. Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, while having their share of deviations as well, also hew closely to Millar’s intentions of showing a geeky teenager thrust into a violent world while wearing a goofy set of pajamas. There are violent consequences to Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) taking a crack at the life of a crime fighter, something few caped men face in modern superhero films even as whole city blocks are leveled. Both of the Kick-Ass films confront certain superhero tropes, but for Millar, it’s not done as satire. It springs from a far more genuine place. It’s also a bloody place, so when we spoke with the comic book creator, we got to talk about expanding expectations for a second outing and the danger of glorifying all the hits.


Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

Earlier this summer, we learned that a Kick-Ass sequel called Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall was likely to go into development and was likely to be written and directed by a guy named Jeff Wadlow. Well, turns out that not only is all of that coming to fruition, but a bunch of casting has already been taken care of, so now the film is looking (surprisingly enough) super official. First off, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse were all rumored to be negotiating to come back and resume their roles from the first film, and that has indeed happened – but they’re not the only names that have officially come on board. The storyline in Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s “Kick-Ass 2” comic revolves around Kick-Ass joining a newly formed crew of crime fighters called Justice Forever, which means that this new movie sequel is going to need to cast a lot of new actors in a lot of new superhero roles.


Kick-Ass Hit Girl

No one can be blamed for not trusting comic writer Mark Millar when he announced Kick-Ass 2 happening, ad nauseum, from the day after Kick-Ass hit theaters. He was the boy who cried sequel, but lo and behold, it might actually happen. According to Deadline Glentondale, Chloe Moretz, Aaron Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are all in talks to join the project. This comes on the heels of director Matthew Vaughn potentially directing Max Barry’s “Lexicon.” The sequel will be directed by its writer, Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf, Never Back Down). It’s doubtful that the movie will be filming by this summer, as Millar recently claimed, but it’s more than possible that it will move forward under the purview of Universal and give fans another chance to see Moretz beat the life out of a bunch of bad guys. Of course, if the insider giving Deadline the info is Mark Millar, another grain of salt might be necessary.


The Grey

After fighting kidnapping pimps involved in the sex trade, after fighting wolves, after fighting Nazis in black and white, Liam Neeson is in talks to fight terrorists on a plane. According to Variety, Warners wants him for Non-Stop, and it’s easy to see why. The story is focused on an Air Marshall (who Neeson would play) that gets hip to a terrorism plot on an international flight (one that apparently doesn’t have any transfers or scheduled refueling sessions). He then, most likely, kicks a bunch of ass and tells people to get off his plane. The script was written by John Richardson and Chris Roach – both of whom are newcomers to the writing game – and will be directed by Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf). The poster is going to be great. Neeson looking stony with a cut or two on his face, a plane looming in the background, the tag “The Flight is Non-Stop. So Is He.” Goosebumps.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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