Brad Pitt was Matthew Vaughn’s first choice for Nicolas Cage’s ‘Kick-Ass’ role

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
Brad Pitt was supposed to star in Kick-Ass, but chose Inglorious Basterds instead (Image by Universal Pictures)
Brad Pitt was supposed to star in Kick-Ass, but chose Inglorious Basterds instead (Image by Universal Pictures)

Matthew Vaughn has marked the tenth anniversary of Kick-Ass by opening up about the making of the R-rated superhero adaptation, revealing just how much of his own money he had to put down to make it happen.

Vaughn told The Hollywood Reporter that because no other Hollywood studio would go near the ultra gory and expletive ridden blockbuster he had to “mortgage” his own “house in order to finance” it. Which, Vaughn admits, was particularly “scary.”

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In his pursuit of money for the film the director brought on Brad Pitt. Vaughn had previously worked as a producer alongside Pitt on Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. It turns out that Vaughn wanted Pitt to have a much bigger role in Kick-Ass, too, as he then “courted” the actor for several weeks to play the character of Big Daddy.

Nicolas Cage went on to play Big Daddy in Kick-Ass (Image by Universal Pictures)
Nicolas Cage went on to play Big Daddy in Kick-Ass (Image by Universal Pictures)

Instead, Pitt signed up to star in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. So Vaughn turned to Nicolas Cage for Big Daddy. Vaughn was always pretty confident the Oscar winner would take the part, too, as he knew that Cage loved comic books and superheroes, and this script was a love letter to them.

“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."

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Vaughn says that Cage immediately bought into the project, recalling just how happy the actor was when he first “put on that costume.”

“[Cage] 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."