Jim Carrey stars as "Colonel Stars and Stripes" in the ultra-violent Kick-Ass 2, out August 16. Based on the hit comic book, the movie is a sequel to the 2010 fan favorite about teenage crime fighters. Carrey joined stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in the film, but now he's having second thoughts.
Mark Millar, the guy who co-wrote the comics and executive produces the movies, responded on his blog, praising Carrey's work in the film and pointing out that he was such a huge fan of the first Kick-Ass, he sang about it during an on-stage appearance with Conan O'Brien.
"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," Millar writes. "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!"
Millar adds that Carrey's character is actually a born-again Christian and doesn't fire a gun, something that Carrey noted in a tweet to a fan, as well.
Millar continued on, respectfully disagreeing with the notion that violent films cause real-life violence, which was a major debate in the weeks that followed the Sandy Hook shooting (and, given the mass violence in this summer's crop of tentpole movies, has swiftly been forgotten).
"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," he says in the post. "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."