Mark is all set to meet the Krankies

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

He’s hung out with Brad Pitt in Clar­idge’s, had his pic­ture taken with An­gelina Jolie and had a cup of tea in supermodel Clau­dia Schif­fer’s kitchen – but Mark Mil­lar can’t wait to meet The Krankies this Christ­mas.

“In two weeks’ time I’m meet­ing The Krankies,” said the comic book cre­ator.

“I gen­uinely, ab­so­lutely can­not wait. Michelle McManus is a pal of mine and she’s ap­pear­ing in a panto with them.

“I really want to meet The Krankies, so I’m go­ing to hang out with The Krankies.”

It’s a long way from a Coat­bridge hous­ing scheme to the glam­our of Hol­ly­wood, but the writer hasn’t been fazed by meet­ing the A-list su­per­stars who have worked on the movie adap­ta­tions of his books.

Mil­lar said: “I’ve got un­usual icons. For me, I love Glen Michael be­cause Glen Michael’s Car­toon Cav­al­cade was a really huge part of my child­hood. That was my in­tro­duc­tion to su­per­heroes. So the first thing I did on Kick-Ass was get Glen Michael a small part, he’s a hot-dog ven­dor in it. I flew him down and he had a trailer and all that kind of thing, it was amaz­ing. Th­ese are the kind of guys who ex­cite me.”

Af­ter pen­ning hits for DC and Marvel Comics, Mil­lar par­layed that suc­cess into es­tab­lish­ing his own line of cre­ator-owned ti­tles in 2004. Mil­lar­World pro­duced some of the big­gest-sell­ing in­de­pen­dent comics of the 21st cen­tury and Hol­ly­wood came call­ing. Four of his books have been turned into movies so far, with an­other five set to ap­pear by 2018. The box of­fice for Wanted, the two Kick-Ass films and this year’s Kings­man is north of $900mil­lion and, as a pro­ducer on all of them, Mil­lar is now part of the Hol­ly­wood es­tab­lish­ment.

He got to know Jolie on Wanted and Schif­fer brought him cup­pas while he was work­ing with her hus­band Matthew Vaughn, who di­rected Kick-Ass.

“You never ac­tu­ally feel it be­cause ev­ery­thing is really grad­ual,” said Mil­lar, who was talk­ing to a room full of fans at Wishaw Li­brary on Fri­day night.

“It’s only when you stop and ac­tu­ally think about what it was like ten years pre­vi­ously. I re­mem­ber what it was like to dread the idea of a phone bill com­ing in, and that feels quite dif­fer­ent from life now.

“But when­ever things hap­pen in­cre­men­tally, you don’t no­tice. You’re stand­ing on a Fri­day night in The Mint in Coat­bridge, the pub I al­ways go to and, weirdly, years later you’re stand­ing in Clar­idge’s in Lon­don and Brad Pitt is stand­ing be­side you. But you don’t think ‘Oh wow there’s Brad Pitt’ be­cause it’s so slow and so sub­tle, be­cause for 18 months prior to that he’s been a pro­ducer on the movie.

“The es­tab­lish­ment pulls you in very qui­etly, to the point where you’re sud­denly it, and you don’t even re­alise it but you sud­denly find you move in un­usual cir­cles.

“I’m never that ex­cited by it, I see it as peo­ple just do­ing a job. The things that really ex­cite me is the stuff I grew up with. Glen Michael is ex­cit­ing.”

A num­ber of Mil­lar’s books are in var­i­ous stages of move pro­duc­tion. Kings­man 2 is set for sum­mer 2017; a fol­low-up to Wanted is ru­moured; the pro­ducer be­hind the Trans­form­ers se­ries is adapt­ing Jupiter’s Legacy, which tells the story about the chil­dren of the world’s great­est su­per­heroes; Univer­sal Pic­tures are work­ing on time­travel ca­per Chrononauts; and Kick-Ass di­rec­tor Matthew Vaughn is pro­duc­ing Su­pe­rior, about a boy with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis who gets su­per pow­ers.

Neme­sis has the premise of ‘what is Bat­man was a bad guy?’ and Top Gun di­rec­tor Tony Scott was set to helm it for Fox un­til he passed away. It moved to an­other stu­dio, and Mil­lar said: “Warner Broth­ers are tripling the bud­get, they’ve got all that Harry Pot­ter money, so in­stead of a $50mil­lion bud­get it’s go­ing to have $150mil­lion bud­get, which is twice any­thing of mine has ever been. That’s really ex­cit­ing and they’re just get­ting the screen writer on that. I think that will be sum­mer 2018 be­fore that is out. Ev­ery­thing about that sounds great. The level of peo­ple they’re talk­ing about is in­sane. If they’ve got that money to spend, they’ll get good peo­ple be­hind it.”

Kick-Ass was fast-tracked into movie pro­duc­tion be­fore the first is­sue of the comic was re­leased.

Be­fore the Kick-Ass movie, Coat­bridge film­maker Wilma Fin­ni­gan knocked a pro­mo­tional vi­ral video about it into shape, af­ter an ex-Spe­cial Forces friend of Mil­lar’s shot the raw footage in New York. It fea­tured a vig­i­lante saving a man be­ing at­tacked in a street. Only the ac­tion was shot, so the di­a­logue was recorded in Coat­bridge’s Dun­beth Park.

Os­car-win­ners have worked on all of Mil­lar’s movie fran­chises – An­gelina Jolie and Mor­gan Free­man in Wanted, Ni­co­las Cage in Kick-Ass and Colin Firth in Kings­man.

The world­wide box of­fice, ac­cord­ing to Box Of­fice Mojo, for Mil­lar’s four movies so far is: Wanted, $341,433,252; Kick-Ass; $96,188,903; Kick-Ass 2, $60,795,985; Kings­man, $414,351,546. Di­rec­tor Matthew Vaughn loved the Kick-Ass comic so much that he con­vinced Brad Pitt and a few of his mates to cough up $50mil­lion to fi­nance the film af­ter ev­ery stu­dio balked at making it. Big fan Mil­lar got his hero Glen Michael a cameo in Kick-Ass Panto Mark Mil­lar to meet can’t wait

the Krankies, who in panto with are

David Has­sel­hoff and Michelle McManus

In dis­cus­sion Mark Mil­lar at Wishaw Li­brary on Fri­day night

Smashes Some of Mil­lar’s lat­est hit comics

Cult smash Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass were in two films

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