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'Kick-Ass' director Matthew Vaughn promises a 'big reboot' of the franchise in two years

Vaughn's got big plans for a revival of the irreverent vigilante franchise.

By Matthew Jackson
KICK-ASS (2010) YT

Back in 2010, before upping the ante with the well-received prequel X-Men: First Class and launching a blockbuster superspy franchise with Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Matthew Vaughn and longtime co-writer Jane Goldman teamed up with comics icon Mark Millar for the first time with Kick-Ass. Created by Millar and artist John Romita Jr., Kick-Ass was an irreverent kick in the pants to superhero cinema, which hadn't yet reached the heights it has in the decade since, and the film was successful enough to spawn a sequel, particularly after it exploded on the home video market. 

After 2013's Kick-Ass 2, though, both Millar and Vaughn moved on to other, bigger projects. Vaughn moved on to First Class and has since been kept busy with Kingsman projects, while Millar has continued to create comics concepts through his Millarwold imprint and a still-expanding deal with Netflix. All of that left Kick-Ass on the back burner, but in a new interview with Collider, Vaughn teased that the franchise is going to make a comeback very soon. 

“We’ve got a big reboot of Kick-Ass in two years," Vaugh said. "Big reboot.”

He added, "It's so f***ing nuts that I can't talk about it. But we've got that ready to go. All the rights revert back in two years and then we're going to reboot it where people will be like, he is insane.”

Vaughn's declaration comes just weeks after Millar went on the record to say that a long-rumored third installment of the original Kick-Ass film series isn't in the cards at the moment, despite years of hopeful interviews in which the film's cast -- which included rising stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz -- suggested a third film might be possible. At the time, Millar said that various arrangements, including how busy he is at Netflix at the moment, made a third film rather unlikely. 

"Matthew is one of my best friends, and we've no plans because I'm over at Netflix and he has deals over with Apple and Kick-Ass is Universal," Millar said. "So there's definitely no plans, maybe at some point in the future, we do have one last story to tell, which is the big finale storyline. I kind of like the idea of that as well, because practically, we can come back a little later to all the characters in different places, so there's a potential story there at some point. But I pray that nobody reads this and mistakes that for us saying Kick-Ass 3 is in the works, because there's 100 percent no plans to do it at the moment."

But of course, Millar was talking about a third film in the original series, whereas Vaughn is apparently talking about a reinvention of the entire Kick-Ass concept. When asked why a reboot would be in the cards a little more than a decade after the original film, here's how he framed things:

“Because I think the clue is in the title," Vaughn said. "I think Kick-Ass became a new type of genre. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, you can’t make R-rated superheroes. No one will want to see an R-rated superhero. You can’t do this. You can’t do that.’ So, I had this idea, and it was so nuts that I went, ‘Yeah, great. It’ll cause just as much controversy, and everyone will talk about it and as many people that love it will hate it.’ But I’m not saying it hasn’t got the characters in it and won't have, you know. I'm just saying it's not what anyone could be imagining what it is. And I'm going to need one very, very brave actor or actress to play the new Kick-Ass because it will scare the s**t out of them.”

Elsewhere in the same piece, Collider's Steve Weintraub clarified that, while Vaughn's production company Marv Films technically still has the Kick-Ass, foreign distribution licenses have also made a tangle of them, so the company is waiting until all of those revert back to really get a new project off the ground. That said, if they do manage to produce a reboot and go so far as to gender-swap the title character, we could see something very interesting on the horizon at a time when the superhero genre has grown well-beyond the original Kick-Ass and its middle finger to comic book convention. Seeing how a new Kick-Ass breaks the rules in an age after Deadpool worked as well as it did could be fascinating.