Mark Millar is one of the world’s most successful comic book authors and recently hit the headlines when he sold his publishing company, Millarworld, to Netflix, in the streaming giant's first ever acquisition.
As the creator of Kick-Ass and Kingsman, he’s been behind two of the biggest comic book movies of the past decades. And now, the sequel to 2014's smash Kingsman: The Secret Service has arrived. We talked to the man called “Britain’s answer to Stan Lee” about the new film...
What’s the gist of the new movie?
I didn’t write a sequel to the original Kingsman: The Secret Service comic-book, as I was tied up for a couple of years with other projects and we were selling Millarworld to Netflix at the time. So this is a completely original story with the characters by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. The idea? Everything you loved about the first movie just got bigger as they team up with their American counterparts, the cowboy super-spies called the Statesmen.
In what ways is it different to the first film?
The first movie was about the class system in Britain, the idea of an ordinary kid from a housing estate being given a chance and proving he’s at least as good as all the spies who led privileged lives. The second film is set in America. It opens the world up. I’d say the second movie is bigger and more international.
Are there any new influences for the sequel that weren't there for the first film?
I think it has the same DNA of pure insanity running from start to finish as the first film, but having half the cast be America definitely gives it a different flavour. I like the way the Bond films all feel quite distinct from one another, especially in the early days, and this is the American adventure. The third one needs to go somewhere else.
Harry says in the first film that the old Bond films were only as good as their villain. What can you say about Julianne Moore's Poppy?
She’s a good baddie. The idea of the world’s richest woman being a drug-dealer who’s irritated that she’s not on the front of Forbes magazine, despite working so hard, is a nice, simple idea. Her argument for legalising and taxing drugs and making them legit is a clever one. But most of all I’m just happy to be on a poster with Julianne Moore. I fell in love with her in Boogie Nights and she’s been out there fighting the good fight for redheads ever since.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens at Cineworld today.