The role of Big Daddy in director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of the comic book Kick-Ass is considered by many to be one of Nicolas Cage's best, but, rather surprisingly, he was not the first actor eyed for the role. In fact, even more surprisingly, the actor that was being sought after was none other than Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Brad Pitt. But, when he no longer became an option due to being nabbed by director Quentin Tarantino for his war epic Inglourious Basterds, Vaughn turned to the acting powerhouse that is Nicolas Cage.
"I knew Nic loved comic books and superheroes, and this script was a love letter to superheroes. The film imagines what it would be like if the ultimate fanboy suddenly decided to play superhero, and some people mistakingly felt we were attacking the genre, but I knew Nic would buy in."
There is no doubt that Nicolas Cage is superbly cast as Big Daddy, delivering lines in the only way that he can, and taking inspiration from Batman himself Adam West, and using his particular vocal traits to create something quite unique. Still, one cannot help but wonder what Brad Pitt would have done with the character. Of course, we would have all been robbed of Cage screaming "Now switch to Kryptonite!" in that deliciously Nicolas Cage-esque way, so perhaps things turned out for the best.
Unable to star in the movie, Brad Pitt did sign on as a producer on Kick-Ass and has no doubt long gotten over the fact that he could not play Big Daddy. Pitt has missed out on several prominent roles over the years, including Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise, that of Neo in The Matrix, as well as lead roles in both American Psycho and Titanic, so the actor must have gotten used to it by now.
Kick-Ass follows comic book geek Dave Lizewski who sets out to become Kick-Ass, a real-life superhero. Big Daddy and Hit-Girl attempt to dismantle the underworld empire of mob boss Frank D'Amico, when Kick-Ass gets involved. But Frank's men play rough, and his son, Chris, is about to become Kick-Ass' very first arch-nemesis. When Chris assumes the persona of Red Mist, the stage is set for a superhero showdown that could spell the end of Kick-Ass once and for all. The movie stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular character, alongside Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Nicolas Cage.
The movie was released a decade ago, and whilst the box office numbers were below the studio's expectations, the movie marked a shift in attitudes towards R-rated comic book fare, which later lead to the likes of Matthew Vaughn's own Kingsman adaptation and the much-celebrated Deadpool franchise.
The movie was very much a passion project for Vaughn, who mortgaged his home to finance it and initially had trouble getting studio backing for the movie. Kick-Ass was eventually made on a small $28 million budget and made $96.2 million worldwide. Since then, the movie has gained a real following, with a sequel making its way to the big screen in 2013, though not with Vaugh at the helm.
Matthew Vaughn's next movie, The King's Man, is scheduled to hit theaters on September 18. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.