Kick-Ass creator reveals how Nemesis will ‘invert’ superhero mythos

Kick-Ass and Wanted creator Mark Millar has revealed to STV more about his latest comic book work Nemesis, which he promises will be a “complete inversion” of superheroes as we know them.

The Scottish comic book writer also talked about how he’s also been approached by three big-name film directors about the project, but that he’s holding off auctioning off any more of his work for movie adapations until Kick-Ass is released - a wise move given that it’s been predicted to be a huge box office success.

Millar explained of the new work’s origins: “Nemesis is the next in this wave that I was planning. Stan Lee created all these amazing characters in the 1960s. Nobody gives him credit for this, but Stan is the cornerstone of modern Hollywood: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, the two artists that he worked with.

“These guys created Spider-Man, The Hulk, X-Men, Avengers, all these things that are making billions, each franchise is making billions. He’s like J.K. Rowling, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum all rolled into one person, and nobody gives him the credit. It’s pretty bizarre, he’s bigger than Walt Disney to me, and has made more money now, probably, with those movies too, for the studios.”

He added: “I just think it’s weird nobody’s done it for the modern day, so I’m trying to create a little wave: there’s Wanted, Kick-Ass and the next one coming out. I’ve got about five or six on the go at the moment, and the next one coming out is Nemesis.

“The idea of Nemesis is a reversal of the superhero movie. I just think there’s been all these superhero pictures but no films about supervillains yet, and I love cinema about crime, cinema about the bad guys. Like Goodfellas, Godfather, The Departed, all these things, it’s always about the bad guys and it’s really interesting, so I thought to flip superhero cinema around on its head.

"I think we hopefully reinvented superheroes with Kick-Ass, but now to do a complete inversion of it with Nemesis will be interesting, where the lead character in the thing is a bad guy. It’s the trappings of a regular superhero: he’s a billionaire by day, a glamorous socialite kind of guy who has an amazing plane, cars, all this sort of stuff, but at night-time he’s the ultimate anarchist. He wears a mask and cape and he’s the only super character in the city and the cops are all that stand between us and him.

“I think it could be quite terrifying, a superhero up against the city, so if you can imagine Se7en with superpowers it’s something like that. It’s definitely an 18 [certificate], you know.”

When asked if it’s already been optioned by a studio to become a movie, Millar replied: “We turned everyone down. It’s really weird; I’ve been getting advice from pals who said wait until Kick-Ass comes out and you’ll have much more latitude in what you can do, you’ll get a better deal for starters, and probably the best directors.

“Some big directors have come forward, we’ve had three directors approach about it, and it feels weird turning them down, because it’s people whose movies you love. But I’m sticking by this, I’m waiting till Kick-Ass comes out and then it can go out to auction.

“I want it in the right hands, I’m less concerned about the cash, and I want it to be a director as good as the first two directors I’ve worked with, so that the quality is there.”

  • Find out more about Millar's plans to direct an ‘epic’ Scottish superhero movie this summer in the first part of our interview.
  • In the second part of the interview we have Millar talking about how Kick-Ass’s independent status was preferable to the studio system behind the likes of Superman - which he and Vaughn pitched for.
  • Millar explained to us why he didn't set out to offend with Kick-Ass and and character Hit Girl.
  • The writer also revealed to us that Wanted 2 will be going ahead with the first film's star Angelina Jolie.
  • Finally he told us that without STV show Glen Michael's Cavalcade his comic book career and Kick-Ass would never have existed. How nice of him! He also talked about the status of American Jesus and War Heroes.

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