Jim Carrey Pulls His Support From Kick-Ass 2: Mark Millar Responds

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carreyHere’s a story that came out of nowhere- Jim Carrey took to Twitter to pull his support for Kick-Ass 2. The actor, who will be seen as Colonel Stars and Stripes in the Jeff Wadlow directed film, took to his personal Twitter account earlier today to address his feelings about the film. The comments completely came out of the blue since Carrey and Millar have both been buddy-buddy and Millar has repeatedly talked about how blown away from Carrey performance he was after seeing several different cuts of the film. Carrey says that his change of heart comes in part from the recent Sandy Hook shooting. After releasing his comments he responded to a fan question which echoed a lot of people’s sentiments:

 

 

 

So it’s probably safe to say that Jim Carrey will NOT take part in any press or promotion for the movie.That’s undoubtedly going to be a big hit since he is one of the biggest box office draws attached to the sequel. Mark Millar acknowledged Carrey’s comment shortly after they were made, but he took a few hours to think up and type out a more measured response which he just posted on his Millarowld forum. It’s a little long, but here it is in its entirety:

First off, I love Jim Carrey. When producer Matthew Vaughn and director Jeff Wadlow called me up and suggested we do a conference call with him to talk about the sequel to the 2010 original I was genuinely excited. Like you, I love Eternal Sunshine, Man on the Moon and The Truman Show. Carrey is an actor like no other, an unpredictable force of nature who brings a layered warmth and humanity to his work as well as that unstoppable energy he’s always been renowned for. He had lunch with Matthew around the time of the first movie and dug it so much he appeared that night on Conan O’Brien DRESSED as Kick-Ass, singing a duet with Conan dressed as Superman. Vaughn and I made a mental note to work with this guy as soon as possible as we’re both huge admirers.

carrey 2Cut to almost three years later and I’m sitting in a screening room in London watching what I think is one of Carrey’s best-ever performances. I’d seen Kick-Ass 2 in many forms, but this was the absolute final cut complete with opening titles, music and a terrific post-credit sequence you’re all going to love. I couldn’t be happier with this picture. It’s as good as the original and in many ways BIGGER as it expands upon the universe and really takes things to the next level. There are a lot of stand-outs in the sequel, every actor really firing on full cylinders and an amazing script that moves like a rocket. But Carrey in particular is magnificent. He’s never done anything like this before and even from the trailer, with his masked dog sidekick specially trained to munch criminal balls, you can see that something really fun and special is happening here. Colonel Stars and Stripes is so charismatic and all his scenes are up there with Nic Cage’s amazing turn as Big Daddy in the original… which made it all the more surprising when Jim announced tonight that the gun-violence in Kick-Ass 2 has made him withdraw his support from the picture.

As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us HIT-GIRL was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much. My books are very hardcore, but the movies are adapted for a more mainstream audience and if you loved the tone of the first picture you’re going to eat this up with a big, giant spoon. Like Jim, I’m horrified by real-life violence (even though I’m Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn’t a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorcese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it’s the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation. Ironically, Jim’s character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.

Ultimately, this is his decision, but I’ve never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life. Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can’t be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie. Imagine a John Wayne picture where he wasn’t packing or a Rocky movie where Stallone wasn’t punching someone repeatedly in the face. Our audience is smart enough to know they’re all pretending and we should instead just sit back and enjoy the serotonin release of seeing bad guys meeting bad ends as much as we enjoyed seeing the Death Star exploding. The action in Kick-Ass 2 is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The humour, the characters, the heart and the set-pieces are all things we’re very proud of and the only warning I’d really include is that it’s almost TOO EXCITING. Kick-Ass 2 is fictional fun so let’s focus our ire instead of the real-life violence going on in the world like the war in Afghanistan, the alarming tension in Syria right now and the fact that Superman just snapped a guy’s fucking neck.

Jim, I love ya and I hope you reconsider for all the above points. You’re amazing in this insanely fun picture and I’m very proud of what Jeff, Matthew and all the team have done here.

Love and Peace,
Mark Millar
@mrmarkmillar

millarMillar dodges Carrey‘s main concern, but he does bring up a good point when he says Carrey knew what he was getting in to all those months ago. Colonel Stars and Stripes uses guns, but he doesn’t have any bullets. It seems the character could be used as a tool for Carrey to help further his message if he really wanted to. I mean if he’s really serious, I’m sure we’ll hear about him donating his Kick-Ass check to charity. It really raises the question if this is Carrey meditating on something and coming to the conclusion he can’t be associated with something that has, to borrow from A Clockwork Orange, a bit of the old ultra-violence or there are more behind the scenes problems. He may not be happy with the finished product and simply decided to distance himself by hopping on a soapbox. That’s a great way to gain ground for him while really putting the distance between himself and Millar and company. Carrey is front-and-center in many of the trailers and looks poised to steal the show. It will be interesting to see if marketing going forward starts to leave him out. I’m sure there will be more to this story as Kick-Ass 2 starts the press rounds. Either Carrey will come out and talk more about pulling his support for the film, or Millar and company will address the issue. Carrey does have a point, but his timing and Millar‘s response could quickly turn into a comedy of errors. Stay tuned to CBT for more on this story as it develops. What do you think about Carrey‘s change of heart?

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