Jim Carrey is having a crisis of conscience about his upcoming movie Kick-Ass 2. The 51-year-old actor spoke out against the satirical superhero sequel on Sunday, June 23, telling his 10.8 million Twitter followers that he wanted to distance himself from the film due to its depiction of violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Conn.
"I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence," he tweeted of the flick, set to be released in August. "I meant to say my apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart."
Carrey stars in the comic-book adaptation as Colonel Stars & Stripes, a born-again Christian vigilante who teams up with the titular hero (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) to take out lowlife criminals. Speaking about the movie with MTV News in March, he described his character as "a guy that came from a violent background who is trying to turn it around, and he uses a gun with no bullets in it."
At the time, he said he was "becoming more conscious" of violence in films and was "being careful" with his choices going forward. He also said Kick-Ass 2 was going to be "a great movie."
Alas, he no longer stands behind that opinion. But others — like Mark Millar, who created the comics on which Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 are based — do. In a response to Carrey's tweets on Sunday, Millar took to his website with a long, personal message in which he called the actor "magnificent" and defended the movie's depiction of violence.
"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," he wrote. "Yes, the body count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin."
"Like Jim, I'm horrified by real-life violence (even though I'm Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn't a documentary," he continued. "No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like [directors] [Quentin] Tarantino and [Sam] Peckinpah, [Martin] Scorcese and [Clint] Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence."
"Ultimately, this is [Jim's] 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," Millar concluded. "Our job as storytellers is to entertain, and our toolbox can't be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action movie…Kick-Ass 2 is fictional fun, so let's focus our ire instead on the real-life violence going on in the world."
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