Mark is all set to meet the Krankies
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