Lionsgate picks up Kick-Ass and aims for '10 release

Lionsgate announced today that it has acquired U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to Kick-Ass, the hotly anticipated action comedy from writer/director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust), and plans to release it sometime in 2010. (The studio paid $50 million for the rights, according to

The movie, based on the hit comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., wowed the crowd at Comic-Con International in San Diego last month.

Kick-Ass stars Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz. The screenplay is written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman.

Kick-Ass tells the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski (Johnson), a comic-book fanboy who decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name—Kick-Ass—assembles a suit and mask to wear and gets to work fighting crime. There's only one problem standing in his way: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers.

His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copycats, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes, including an 11-year-old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl (Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Cage).

"Matthew Vaughn is an amazing talent and a true original, and he has brought a whole new mindset to the action genre with Kick-Ass," Jason Constantine, Lionsgate president of acquisitions and co-productions, said in a statement. "Kick-Ass redefines the boundaries in terms of humor, action, story, character and tone—it's the kind of movie that reminds us of why we go to the movies in the first place. Lionsgate is thrilled to bring Kick-Ass home to give it the next-generation launching pad it deserves."

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