Three studios vie for Kick-Ass

Lionsgate, Universal and Paramount are competing to release Stardust and Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of Mark Millar's comic book Kick-Ass, the Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business Blog reports.

Kick-Ass is about a geeky, skinny teen comic book fan who dresses up as a superhero to fight crime and gets way more than he bargained for as a costumed vigilante. The comic book, penned by Wanted creator Millar and drawn by John Romita, Jr., is known for its over-the-top dark humor and Peckinpah-like violence that features samurai swords wielded in the hands of minors. This initially made studios reluctant to take on the film adaptation. Vaughn, who as a producer had financed films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, raised the funds for Kick-Ass without studio backing.

Vaughn screened footage of Kick-Ass at Comic-Con this year, and the positive fan response in turn led to buyer screenings that piqued the interest of Lionsgate, Universal and Paramount.

Kick-Ass stars Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz.

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