Jim Carrey Won’t Promote ‘Kick-Ass 2′; Mark Millar Responds

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Kick-Ass was a fairly violent film and I can’t imagine that Kick-Ass 2 tones it down much. With that in mind, Jim Carrey – who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes in the film – today announced that “cannot support” the film. This doesn’t mean that the movie will be altered in any way, it probably just means that he won’t be participating in the press rounds. So don’t expect to hear much more from him before the film’s release on August 14th.

It’s interesting to see various outlets claim that Carrey is “trashing” the film, because he isn’t doing that at all. He tweeted, “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to e“, followed by “I meant to say my apologies to others involve with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.

While I don’t think violence in film causes violence in real life at all, I personally find this to be a respectable choice. This is about his moral comfort level in endorsing his products, and if he doesn’t feel comfortable doing so – why should he be forced?

Writer Mark Millar issued the below response on his blog – which I think sort of misses the point of Carrey’s statement since Carrey isn’t stating an objection to changed content in the material, but rather the post Sandy Hook social climate.

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.

Cut 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

 
  • 905Justin

    jim carrey sounds like an over sensitive little baby…sandy hook happened move on with life. stop looking for scapegoats for what psychos do

    • divisionbell

      Everyone loves to jump on that emotional bandwagon. It’s a film. It’s not real. If you are finding a connection it is only one you are making. Like gangster squad cutting the theater scene. I personally can’t see it as anything other than a publicity stunt. You weren’t connected to the issue, your film was not connected, cutting or not promoting something does nothing more than put you in the spotlight, which I think is far worse.

    • Jasonicus

      Mark Millar missed the whole point of what Carrey said and obviously so did you.

  • weresmurf

    I think we all have to respect Jim Carreys right to pursue this course of action…

    As much as we should then support the Producers of Kickass 2 and Mark Millars right to sue the living shit out of Jim Carrey for potential breach of contract to reclaim his fee for Kickass 2 for not promoting the movie.

    • Mr.Mirage

      Exactly. I was going to make that very point, but it kept coming off my fingertips sounding like a barking dog…

  • djblack1313

    yeah, it sounds like he wants to be in a picture like this then bail on it after he’s gotten paid. but whatever. i’m excited for this movie not because of Jim Carrey. i’m excited for it IN SPITE OF him.

    • weresmurf

      Im seeing this day 1, session 1. Hell, I’ll see it at a midnight screening if I can, then the very next day. Im a Kickass fan, bought issue 1 of Kickass and still have it mint in wrapping right here, never opened for 5 bucks years back. Just had a feeling about it. Got 2 copies of it, 1 for reading, 1 for collecting. Now part 3 (comic) is out, can’t wait for the third eventual movie to cap off the trilogy as well, but hope they get an actor who at least doesn’t screw them over…

      • djblack1313

        weresmurf, i freaking LOVE the first movie. i’ve watched it dozens of times and i own the soundtrack! it’s awesome! i have a feeling the sequel won’t be as good but i’m still going day 1 first show!

        • weresmurf

          What I loved about the first one, was something Drew Mcweeny pointed out to me when we used to chat at AICN. It’s how the movie starts out ‘real’ and escalates. The escalation is not only in violence and tone, but also escalation of absurdity, so that by the end, the movie has shrugged off any pretence of being ‘real’ and has embraced fully its comicbook aspirations. By the end, Kickass is no longer a boy PRETENDING to be a Superhero, but an actual Superhero. I think that point was lost on a lot of people who said ‘Oh it went stupid at the end!’ It was *meant* to.

          • djblack1313

            weresmurf, that’s an excellent and apt assessment of the first movie!!

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    Although I respect his thoughts behind his decision, when someone signs on to do a movie, he/she should do their part to promote it. The events of Sandy Hook were horrible, but the actors responsibility doesn’t end when the camera stops rolling. I’m sure he was paid a great deal and he needs to follow through with what was expected or give back some of the money. Not to mention, the other actors, director, writer, producers etc. a lot of the time depend on the success of a film to further their own career. Sometimes one has to put ones personal feelings aside and do what is expected of them.

    • djblack1313

      WalkingDeadGuy, very well said. i agree!

  • Kroork

    He is sayi g sandy hook has made him not want to promote this movie? Does he not remember all the other horrible acts of violence over the years? Columbine anyone? Sandy is only the most recent. So when he made the movie, columbine had still happened, 911, had still happened , and yet he thought it was ok then. So is it to say Jim will never be in a movie that shows violence ever again? Cause I feel a movie like the mask is more detrimental to the youth then kickass. Like the dude from the article said. Kickass shows the consiquenses of violence. The mask made it all comedic and cartoony. Now which one would be more confusing for a child? Bullets kill or you can be shot in the face and just suck up all those bullets and shoot them out your mouth !

    I think Jim is being I said right now and trying to be relivent through a cause, which is kind of offensive to the actual sandy hook victims. It doesn’t seem genuine

    • Incinerated

      The future will tell if he’s genuine. It’s not accurate to say his past has already given him away as a fake. The past is the past. People grow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1660520847 Jennifer Santos

      You are absolutely right, I hope the studio sues him for the full amount of his paycheck. Either that or he needs to donate the entirety of his paycheck to a victim’s relief fund. He did the film, he took the cash, if he had a change of heart, fine but he shouldn’t get to walk away from his responsibilities without consequences.

  • Ghoulstille

    I really don’t get his reasoning but it is his right to change his mind.

  • ThunderDragoon

    I respect his decision, but I don’t understand it. Movies have nothing to do with real life events that happen after they’re filmed. Just because it’s violent doesn’t mean it has to be linked with one of the latest real-life tragedies. I can understand something like buildings being destroyed in a movie shortly after 9/11 happened, but how does a pseudo-superhero movie relate to a school shooting? Surely they’re not shooting up a school in Kick-Ass 2. So, like I said, I respect his decision, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • weresmurf

      Oh if they follow the plot of the comic closely…

      *SPOILERS*

      SPOILERS

      LOOK IN THE CAPS FOR THE SPOILERS

      SPOILERS OF THE COMIC ONLY PUT INAMONGSTTHECAPSmotherfuckergunsdownabunchoflittlekidsinastreetYOUREALLYHADTOREADINAMONGSTTHIS

      Can’t say you weren’t warned :P

      • djblack1313

        weresmurf, DAMN YOU!! you didn’t even give me a warning about that spoiler!!!! (kidding! LOL). if that’s true i have more understanding in why he feels this way.

      • WalkWithMeInDarkness

        I’m sure that probably won’t be in the film, i’ve heard stuff about a rape scene in the comic that isn’t going to be in the movie.

        • weresmurf

          Oh I dunno, I’ve already seen pics involving Mother Russia blowing up a cop car that leads up to that scene… hopefully it’s not though, never liked that part of the comic.

  • Incinerated

    I understand where Carrey may be coming from and would truly appreciate this move if he really is thinking deep on the issue and this is part of an across the board growth in his life now. As long as it isn’t coming from the same place as those ‘Let’s delay this violent movie a month because there was a shooting’ moves that studios make. If it’s a life decision and not a pathetic and unnecessary act of sympathy, good for him.

    Unfortunately for him, he looks awesome in this movie and if I see it, he will be the main reason I do.

  • TwistedCritic

    Funny seeing a mini-essay in response to what is basically two tweets.

  • BloodyBirthday

    Marketing ploy to generate interest. It’s worked!

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    I love Jim Carrey and like a lot of you, I respect his opinion. But this is lame. There’s no point in me going on a tirade about violence in film versus violence in real life. Some of you guys have already mentioned it and no matter how much we say it, the dumb fuckers in the world will never understand.

  • Jasonicus

    He can do what he wants. If its not in his contract to promote it, then he doesn’t have to. Mark Millar sounds incredibly butt hurt.

    • Jasonicus

      I have no interest in this sequel anyway. The book was terrible.

  • Budthechud

    Not a surprise after his recent anti-gun rants. Promoting the film would have made him look like a hypocrite. This was the easy way out for him. He doesn’t have to answer uncomfortable questions while bringing publicity for his stance. However, if he truly felt so strongly, he would return his pay in part or in full. Frankly, I have no intention of watching another Jim Carrey film. While he has a right to his opinion, I have a right to disagree with how he has expressed it and refuse to pay any money for a project that he under takes.

  • Trioxin83

    Reading this and remembering what Jamie Fox said about violence after making Django Unchained makes me think that if these actors really don’t like what they have portrayed, then they should give back every cent that they were paid or donate it to a worthy charity instead of walking away with (potentially) millions of dollars then telling us how we should feel ashamed for watching what we like.

  • Krug09

    Sorry for anyone who is related to Sandy Hook but what does this film have to do with that? I have mixed feelings about this because i think Jim should promote this movie. I am not sure if Jim is doing this because he thinks he can get away with it or he cares too much…

  • RickGrimesRightHand

    “While I don’t think violence in film causes violence in real life at all, I personally find this to be a respectable choice. This is about his moral comfort level in endorsing his products, and if he doesn’t feel comfortable doing so – why should he be forced?” Exactly, if he’s not contractually obligated he has every right to do whatever the hell he wants. I’m pretty sure he is NOT the lead character in this film so he is likely NOT obligated contractually. Furthermore, I haven’t seen his contract but I am willing to bet he didn’t get a kings ransom like he used to for this film. He chose to be in the film because he liked the material, then something horrible in real life happened and he had a change of heart. it happens. He in no way has trashed the movie, in fact, he’s basically got people stirred up and giving the film more buzz then it would have gotten had he done the press for it.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    “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” >>> NAILED IT!

  • Jeff

    Fine, he doesn’t want to promote the film, then he can just give back the millions he made off it. If he’s so upset over the recent shootings and is ashamed of doing this film, then he can just give the money to the families of the victims.

    Will he put his money where his mouth is? Hell no, he’s nothing but a two-faced hypocrite. Typical Hollyweird.

    • Zombie-Killa

      I agree with this.

      If he’s so offended and disgusted by the violence in Kick-Ass 2, then he should give back his salary, every last penny of it. But I haven’t read any reports about him doing so. Unless he gives back the money, I have a hard time believing or buying into the sincerity and genuine feelings behind Carrey’s motivations to not promote the film.

  • RickGrimesRightHand

    If he’s not contractually obligated then I don’t think he owes the studios their money back. He’s an actor who is paid to act, not have to do whatever the studios and producers tell him to after he’s completed his job and contractual obligations. A lot of people work at jobs they hate and go home and bash their employers, does this mean that they should have to pay their employers back for doing so? no. Dude just has his opinions and it’s not like they didn’t know that when they hired him to act in this film.

  • RickGrimesRightHand

    The film is called ‘Kick-Ass 2″ not kiss ass too.

  • huntermc

    If anything, Carrey could have used his promotion of the film to make a stand against real-life gun violence. He could have done interview, and when he did he could point out the difference between over the top film violence and the affects of real life tragedies like Sandy Hook and the Aurora Batman shootings.

    Hell, maybe this is part of some viral marketing scheme in which Carrey saying the film is too violent in order to stir up controversy is part of the marketing plan all along.

    • RickGrimesRightHand

      Great point, and that last part is probably true, he’s no idiot but he plays one well.

  • Jbones81

    LOL@ what Mark Miller said “the alarming tension in Syria right now and the fact that Superman just snapped a guy’s fucking neck.”

    Jim Carrey doesn’t need to promote this movie,he already has inadvertently.

  • frankstark

    brings up sandy hook but does not bring up the dark knight rises shooting,and any other shooting and not think about the people that died also