Kingsman: The Minds Behind the Mayhem | NowThis Nerd

Hey everyone, I’m Andrew and when I first saw ‘Kingsman,’ I had no idea it was based on a comic book But looking back, it totally makes sense

Director Matthew Vaughn’s stylish action and colorful visuals are straight from the comic book page And the brilliant “James Bond on molly” premise could only have come from the twisted mind of Mark Millar From their first pairing on ‘Kick-Ass’ to this week’s ‘Kingsman 2,’ when these two brits work together you can expect a lot of laughs and an even bigger body-count So, before you see ‘The Golden Circle,’ Let’s learn a little more about the minds behind the mayhem We’ll start with the comic’s creator, Mark Millar

Millar started his career in the UK, under the wing of his fellow Scotsman Grant Morrison Soon he was writing everything from ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ to ‘Big Dave,’ the Hardest Man in Manchester That's my attempt at an English accent Stop that! It's silly His first big break was ‘The Authority,’ the ultra-violent superhero team created by Warren Ellis

He did a few other comics for DC, including the awesome ‘Superman: Red Son,’ But that was all just a warmup for 'The Ultimates" Honestly, there’s probably no bigger influence on Marvel’s cinematic universe than ‘The Ultimates’ Marvel gave him the task of making a comic “more like the way movies are written,” and Millar delivered ‘The Ultimates’ was a blockbuster in comic book form And with 'Authority' artist Bryan Hitch’s photorealistic “widescreen” style, it looks like a proof-of-concept pitch for today’s superhero films ‘The Ultimates’ was proof that Millar could write compelling stories for the screen

He was hired as a consultant on the first ‘Iron Man’ movie, where he talked them out of using the cheesy Mandarin for the villain No, no, no! Yes, yes, yes! Though he does make an appearance a few years later Kind of

The Mandarin! See, it's not real And speaking of film, another talented Brit was making a name for himself at the same time: Matthew Vaughn was just 25 years old when his uncle put him in touch with a director looking for investors in his debut film Tie him up, tape him up Hands and face! The director was none other than Guy Ritchie, and the movie was his breakout 1998 hit ‘Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels’ The two became close friends, and Vaughn also produced ‘Snatch’ and ‘Swept Away’ before he struck out on his own as a director

Also, side-note, watch 'Snatch It's like one of my favorite heist films Do you like dags? Dags? Yeah, y'know, dags! Dags D'you like dags? Oh, dogs Sure, I like dags

His first film was 2004’s 'Layer Cake' Vaughn wanted to create a stylistic crime movie like ‘Heat,’ just set in London instead of LA It starred Daniel Craig as an unnamed cocaine kingpin on the verge of retirement before he gets sucked in for one last job He has one million ecstacy pills with very high levels of MDMA, kay? One million? On the commentary track, Vaughn actually says how the main character “wants to be James Bond,” And sure enough, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli cast Craig on the strength of this film

But he wasn’t the only one getting some love from the big studios After Bryan Singer bailed on the X-Men franchise, Fox scrambled to find a director for the third film Everyone from Joss Whedon to Peter Berg turned them down, but after directing the Neil Gayman adaptation ‘Stardust,’ Vaughn was up to the challenge At least at first He was responsible for some initial casting decisions, like Kelsey Grammer as Beast and his old Guy Ritchie buddy Vinnie Jones

Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, bitch! But two weeks before filming began, he dropped out when he realized how long the shoot would keep him from his family Hollywood hack Brett Ratner took over ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ And that worked out so well they came crawling back to Vaughn a few years later to reboot the franchise with ‘First Class’ in 2011

But that wasn’t his first superhero film Because in 2010, he joined forces with Mark Millar to adapt his controversial comic 'Kick-Ass' And it all comes full circle Or Golden Circle! After ‘The Ultimates,’ Millar was a made man at Marvel He was the writer behind their ‘Civil War’ crossover and ‘Old Man Logan,’ both of which inspired loose movie adaptations

But on top of his Marvel work, Millar had been busy with his own universe of creator-owned comics called “Millarworld” His Millarworld comics were clever and provocative, but they could also be extremely graphic and deeply offensive They were also tailor-made to be movies Most studios didn’t even wait for the books to come out before snatching up the rights Universal bought ‘Wanted,’ the first Millarworld book, based on a single drawing and a plot synopsis

And Matthew Vaughn got on board ‘Kick-Ass’ before Millar had even started to write it They developed the movie and the comic at the same time, Kind of like how Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke collaborated on ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ And just like ‘2001,’ the book and movie are pretty different But ‘Kick-Ass’ still stuck to the core concept of a powerless teenager as a costumed crimefighter in the real world

At least until he starts flying around on a jetpack But until then, powerless teenager Like most of Vaughn’s films,‘Kick-Ass’ was a surprise hit So Millar and Vaughn literally went to the pub to come up with their next project: 'Kingsman' Over a few rounds, the two lamented about how spy movies had become too serious and up-their-own-ass They wanted to bring some fun back to the genre, so Millar and ‘Watchmen’ artist Dave Gibbons whipped up ‘The Secret Service

’ Their story about a James Bond pastiche training his loser nephew in the art of the secret agent was exactly what Vaughn was looking for, A lot would change in the transition to the screen, like Eggsy’s relationship to his mentor, But it was a solid foundation for Vaughn’s dream super-spy movie Looking good, Eggsy Feeling good And soon, he found himself with a difficult choice Just as he finished adapting the comic into a script, Fox offered the chance to direct ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past

’ Turning down an $800 million dollar movie had to be tough, but Vaughn knew it was only a matter of time before someone else had the big idea to make a lighter, more fun spy movie I've got to do 'Kingsman' first, because my gut said someone was going to do a fun spy film So I said "can we push 'X-Men' back one year?" and they said no ‘Future Past’ was awesome, but even that Quicksilver scene doesn’t compare to hundreds of heads exploding in slow motion all over the world And there’s not a single action scene that touches the carnage of Colin Firth going HAM in a church to the tune of ‘Freebird’s’ guitar solo

The movie made a pretty profit, despite opening up against ‘50 Shades of Grey’ and like, the four other spy movies that came out in 2014 Including one from his mentor, Guy Ritchie For a special agent, you're not having a very special day, are you? A sequel was a no-brainer, and now that the world knows what to expect, ‘The Golden Circle’ is free to amp up the insanity even more Eggsy is back, and so is Harry Hart… Somehow And the U

S branch of Kingsman is about to undergo a full-fledged British Invasion From the gadgets to the gunplay, the ‘Kingsman’ movies are a supercharged update of the tired old James Bond tropes Bond James Bond They’re also the perfect expression of Millar and Vaughn’s over-the-top sensibilities Just last month, Netflix purchased Millarworld It’s the first company they’ve ever bought, and they’re hoping to create their own shared universe on the scale of Marvel and ‘Star Wars

’ With 20 properties under the Millarworld banner, I’m sure Netflix is chomping at the bit to turn them all into original movies and shows Let’s just hope they have the foresight to bring Matthew Vaughn on board as well

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