By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 17, 2009 at 4:41AM
As I suspected, Lionsgate has acquired Matthew Vaughn's violent action comedy Kick-Ass, which wowed audiences at Hall H in Comic-Con. It was one of several indie pics that used Comic-Con fan reaction to try to land an distributor. In this case, the strategy worked.
Vaughn exhorted fans to give his film (adapted by Jane Goldman from the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. comic) a thumbs-up on the 11-minutes he showed, and they enthusiastically did. The crowd gasped with surprise at clips from this audacious, smart action satire, which throws conventional expectations out the window: Nic Cage shoots at his 14-year-old daughter (Chloe Moretz)—to teach her how to take a hit in a bullet-proof vest; a caped would-be superhero leaps off a tall building with a single bound—and plummets to his death. The movie is funny—but it’s also the sort of crazy execution-dependent picture that distribs insist on seeing in full. Even if it plays great at Comic-Con.
I spoke to Lionsgate's Joe Drake at the Con, and he was definitely tracking the hard R flick even though its action heroine is a young teen. I figured it had two proper homes: Lionsgate or Screen Gems. WME aggressively sold the $45 million film; they screened it for distribs at the DGA back in L.A. the Tuesday after Comic-Con.
The marketing will be key, as the movie falls into the tricky action-comedy genre. What matters is that it looks like a lot of fun.
Here's video from the Kick-Ass Comic-Con panel.