Major film studios bidding for the right to Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass San Diego Comic-Con panel 2009 photo by Rene Carson
Kick-Ass San Diego Comic-Con panel 2009 photo by Rene Carson

Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass is close to securing a distributor, according to THR’s Risky Business blog. Three studios, including Lionsgate, Paramount and Universal, are currently eyeing the brutal comic-book adaptation.

According to the report, the winner will have to pony up a high seven-figure sum, plus back-end residuals.

Heavy interest was apparently sparked after the film’s successful debut at Comic-Con, where Vaughn screened several clips, and an intense trailer. It was one of the biggest hits of the Con. Vaughn mentioned during the panel that he hopes for a first quarter 2010 release, provided all goes well with the distribution deal.

Vaughn originally decided to self-finance the movie after exiting a deal with Sony over critical creative differences with the studio, but has always been confident about the appeal of Kick-Ass, which tells the story of a normal teenager who’s inspired by comic books to become a DIY superhero. After several failed attempts at saving the day (including a seriously graphic injury that was shown in the Comic-Con clips), he gets embroiled in a dark and violent world dominated by psychotic gangsters and other heroes who are more skilled than he is, including Nicolas Cage’s Big Daddy and his eleven year-old daugher, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz).