Matthew Vaughn originally wanted Brad Pitt to play the role of Big Daddy in his action comedy Kick-Ass.
The filmmaker marked the 10th anniversary of the movie in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, and revealed that he originally enlisted the Oscar-winning actor as a producer to drum up interest from Hollywood studios for the expletive-ridden offbeat superhero blockbuster, but the tactic wasn’t enough to convince executives to go for the project.
“No studio would touch it,” Vaughn recalled. “So I had to mortgage my house in order to finance the film, which was scary, to be honest.”
However, once the project got the green light, the 49-year-old courted Pitt to play Big Daddy, a former police officer who trains his young daughter to become the foul-mouthed vigilante Hit Girl, who was portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz.
Instead, Pitt signed up to star in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, prompting Vaughn to approach Nicolas Cage for the role, who he knew was a big fan of comic books and superheroes.
“I knew Nic loved comic books and superheroes, and this script was a love letter to superheroes,” the director explained. “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.”
And Vaughn recalled seeing Cage put on Big Daddy’s costume for the first time and how the actor’s energy invigorated the cast and crew after a long day of filming.
“(He) had an enthusiasm which is vital on a film set. There are days where you’re so exhausted that you really rely on the enthusiasm, otherwise you end up with a flat film,” he shared.
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