Mark Millar talks Kick Ass 2, Eminem, and Tom Cruise as Iron Man!

Mark Millar talks Kick Ass 2, Eminem, and Tom Cruise as Iron Man!

Mark Millar talks Kick Ass 2, Eminem, and Tom Cruise as Iron Man!

Millar talks exclusively to about Kick Ass 2, Clint, Eminem in Wanted, and why Tom Cruise could have played Iron Man...

GQ: Was the name Frankie Boyle's idea?
MM: It was an idea I thought up a couple of years back. There's a great tradition in Britain of comics with girl's names - Mandy, Judy, Bunty. Clint just seemed a hilarious boy's name…

GQ: Just how good is Jonathan Ross' strip, Turf?
MM: It's great! Over the years I've seen a lot of people who are fans of comics go into publishing, like Kevin Smith who turned out to be really good. But being a massive fan doesn't always mean you're going to be a good writer…. Hopefully people will pick up Clint because it's got Jonathan Ross, Frankie Boyle and Kick-Ass 2.

GQ: What can you tell us about Kick Ass 2?
MM: It immediately follows on from the first, of which the movie was a very close adaptation. Anybody who enjoyed the movie, even if they didn't read the comic, will understand it. That ended with Red Mist becoming a supervillain, so we pick up with on one hand a gang of superheroes led by Dave and on the other hand a gang of supervillains who've all met on Twitter. They're fucking up New York and recording it on their mobile phones and putting it on the internet. In the end it becomes this horrible Charles Manson kind of thing crossed with The Warriors, one gang of superheroes and one gang of supervillains all fighting each other.

GQ: How pleased were you with the film?
MM: I was delighted. Nobody was happier than I was with the film and I've probably watched it more than anyone. It was part of my life for two and half years so thank God. There's so many things that could have gone wrong with it.

GQ: Aaron Johnson really nailed it…
MM: To the point where everybody at the auditions thought he was American. I didn't meet him in person - I was watching it on a digital stream back in Scotland - and I just thought he was a kid from Los Angeles. Then I looked at the top of the page and it said he was from Southend or something like that.

GQ: Did you have to edit out any of Frankie Boyle's material?
MM: Oh my God, we're talking about a comic where the villain in the lead strip is called Motherfucker… It's funny because the last thing you'd expect from Jonathan who you've seen on TV for the last 20 years is that he's going to write a period strip about vampires in the Thirties. And it's the same with Frankie, the last thing I expected was Rex Roid, which is a kind of messed up version of [Superman's arch enemy] Lex Luthor. It wasn't what I was expecting either. But in a good way. It was a nice surprise. Thank God they can both write.

GQ: Does it incorporate his trademark humour?
MM: I think it'd be odd for your stuff not to have a bit of your personality in it. If you're fan a Frankie, you'll like it. It's got some of his great lines and a couple of jaw-dropping moments in it, but it's also got stuff like robots, flying guys and power beams. It's quite interesting to see what Frankie Boyle does with that.

GQ: Is it true that Eminem wanted to be in the Wanted film?
MM: What I'd heard was that it was true and he then denied it. What happened was that some online gossip guy said, "Millar pretended to Universal that Eminem wanted to play the lead role, sold the movie and then it turned out it was all made up." Universal work with Eminem. They would know! What happened was the agent that I had at the time knew Eminem's agent and had said, "He's looking for a movie to do and he's expressed interest in Wanted." And that was it. But the story went out on the Sunday Times saying, "Eminem considering playing the lead in Wanted." Within 24 hours it was all over the internet all over the world: "Eminem has signed up to Wanted for a reported $20m. It was like starting a fire.

GQ: Have you spoken to Matthew Vaughan about X-Men: First Class?
MM: Well Matthew's very well versed about X-Men, not because he's a massive comics fan but because he almost directed X-Men 3. He bailed at the last minute.

GQ: We wish he hadn't…
MM: Oh man, I think everybody does. He'd really gotten into the nitty gritty of what the characters were like. He knows his X-Men very well. A couple of times he's phoned up and said, "Who'd be a good…" or "What would fans like to see in this little cameo?" But generally he's just been telling me his plans because he's very comfortable with it. When I went to his house there were loads of X-Men graphic novels lying around his house. He'd really read up on it.

GQ: Are you as excited as we are about January Jones playing Emma Frost?
MM: I like the idea of it because she's normally quite overdressed. It'd be cool to have her in the [notoriously skimpy] White Queen outfit…

GQ: The Ultimates is being adapted for The Avengers by the guy who wrote X-Men 3. Does that worry you?
MM: Actually it's now being directed by Joss Whedon who's an absolutely terrific writer - he did Buffy and all that stuff. I think being the director, he'll do his rewrite of it. Zak Penn's actually the guy who did The Incredible Hulk, which I loved - the first one was terrible. He told me a lot of his plans and it sounded exactly like Ultimates which I was pleased with. If it's shit I won't even mention The Ultimates but if it's good I'll take as much credit as I can…

GQ: Did you see the leaked Thor trailer?
MM: I thought it was great. I'm so busy doing Millarworld books now that I really only do a little bit of time at Marvel, so I haven't been as involved as I was with, say, the first Iron Man movie. But Thor I'm coming to as a fan, even though they're using the template of my Samuel L Jackson character [Nick Fury]. Visually it's Thor from The Ultimates. Brian Hitch who drew The Ultimates was very excited. He was buzzing. He e-mailed me within seconds of seeing it.

GQ: How involved were you with Iron Man?
MM: They got me in at the script stage because they wanted me to look at the structure of it. Originally the bad guy was The Mandarin and I said, "No, I really think it's a mistake to make him the bad guy." I suggested bringing in the Iron Monger character because if you're a wee boy, you want to see a big robot like Iron Man fighting another big robot at the end of the movie. Originally they had The Mandarin with magic rings and I thought it looked a bit ridiculous. I pissed everyone off at the meeting though by saying that. I didn't realise they fly you out just to agree with everyone. There was this terrible silence at the table. Very uncomfortable. So they've never had me back. [laughs]

GQ: It's hard to imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr playing Tony Stark.
MM: I think other people could have done it too. Tom Cruise has got the manic craziness. You could see him as Tony Stark. Likewise Johnny Depp, who I had in mind when I was writing The Ultimates. But there's a masculinity slightly missing with those guys that Downey Jr's got, a little edge.

GQ: What's the worst comic book film you've ever seen?
MM: Unquestionably Catwoman. Elektra at least tried to be a good movie. It just didn't work. Catwoman was a piece of shit from start to finish. It had the worst script I've ever seen. Everything was wrong with that film from the casting to the costume. I remember when they released Halle Berry's costume online, I actually thought it was a joke.
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