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Mark Millar seems to have hit a groove right now that is sort of amazing to watch unfold. For a long time, he was the guy with a lot of development deals, the guy whose work was sort of inching its way towards the big screen, and then that Russian madman and Hollywood vets Brandt and Haas figured out how to pull off "Wanted," and Matthew Vaughn sort of lost his mind for "Kick-Ass" and pushed it through before anyone realized what was going on, and suddenly everything's coming up roses.
His recently announced deal with Fox where he's consulting with them on their Marvel titles is a great gig, and we'll see how much they follow his lead. We'll see if they can pull off something fun with their next wave of movies, and if they finally get to do something of the crazier stuff they have the rights to do, like that "Deadpool" movie. I have no idea what his plans are, and that's a good thing. I know that the creative team on "Fantastic Four" is amazing (Josh Trank direting and Jeremy Slater writing) and that "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" sounds like a promising direction for the series with Singer returning for the first time since "X-Men 2." That's actually sort of a huge deal based on how badly that relationship ended when he left to do "Superman Returns," and I'm curious to see if we see Sentinels right away at the start of the film as the giant extended middle finger to Rothman on his way out the door.
"Kick-Ass 2" is in production right now in London, and I think it's winding up soon in time to finish everything for its summer release date. I'm intensely curious about what they're doing, and Millar's been like a kid who can't keep a secret during the production so far, really pleased with what he's seeing. I don't even have to be a fan of Millar's work to enjoy seeing someone get a chance to realize so many creative efforts at one time. "Supercrooks" is another one that is on its way to the theaters soon, and again… it's an exciting combination of elements, with Nacho Vigalondo directing what is basically an "Ocean's 11" style heist movie with super-powered bad guys in Spain. "Wanted 2" is evidently still working its way through the process and seems to be a priority for Universal.
And fresh off of the near-miss of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," Matthew Vaughn is evidently gearing up to make "Secret Service," which is based on the comic Millar's been doing with artist Dave Gibbons. That's a huge deal for Millar, and the publicity leading up to the release of the book was all about how Millar had sent Gibbons a letter when he was 17 asking him to draw one of his stories, and now, in 2012, that's finally going to happen. Gibbons is absolutely crushing it on the book so far based on the two I've seen, and the book reads like a very different tone than "Kick-Ass," although it's sort of a spy genre parallel to the sort of thing Millar's doing to superheroes.
Tonight, Millar was tweeting randomly after working, and said the following:
"A comic usually takes me 2 weeks but about 70% through the extra-sized finale of Secret Service in 5 days. V pleased with it.
Dave Gibbons and I planning to do one of these every two or three years, same as the movie adaptations. Casting is INSPIRED by the way."
He is a vicious, vicious tease, and he knows he is. And Vaughn is off the radar right now, I'm sure by choice, while his screenwriting partner Jane Goldman was reported earlier today as teaming up with TIm Burton and Robert Downey Jr. to make "Pinocchio." So I'm curious if she'll be part of "Secret Service" as well, or if that'll be Matthew working with Mark or with someone else. And after that, he also mentioned the movie version of "Superior," which Vaughn is producing next year as well. Millar has said that the reason Vaughn left "X-Men" to do "Secret Service" instead is that he is worried about someone doing a similar film and beating them to the punch, and reading the high-concept twist, I can see how it's one of those things that is easily stolen, the way "Kick-Ass" is. Vaughn wants to make these movies as fast as Millar's turning out the books, which is a pretty amazing partnership to have in place.
One thing's for sure… Mark Millar could use two or three clones or an extra nineteen hours in every day if he's going to pull off everything he's got planned, and that seems to be how he likes it.
"Kick-Ass 2" will be in theaters June 28, 2013.