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Jane Goldman interview

Published on 7 September, 2010

Authored by Titan Books

1/ What first attracted you to writing the script for Kick-Ass?

When Mark told me his idea for the comic, I was compelled by the brilliant simplicity of the idea and the possibilities it suggested. It was one of those situations where the basic concept was so strong that it was hard to believe that it hadn't been done before, and the idea of adapting such a cracking tale was a very exciting prospect.

2/ What challenges did you have in adapting the work of another writer?

One unique challenge in the case of Kickass was that the comic was not yet published - or even completed! - when we began work on the screenplay. Although this provided greater freedom than adapting an existing piece of work, there was also a sense of not wanting to take too many liberties or step on Mark's toes in terms of the direction in which he wanted to take the story and characters. I am hugely grateful to Mark for making the process so easy and so pleasant. He was incredibly laid-back and generous throughout, never vetoed anything and was always supportive and enthusiastic - a lovely man and a real dream to work with.

3/ How did adapting Kick-Ass compare with your experience on Stardust?

I feel very fortunate in that Stardust was also a very positive experience in terms of Neil Gaiman's unerring support. The main difference was that because Stardust was a novel, it was necessary to make more cuts and structural changes for the sake of length and pacing. A comic series is more film-shaped to begin with, and if anything, there is more time and opportunity to expand elements and explore characters further.   

4/ Did you have a cast in mind when you were working on the script?

Matthew often talked about casting ideas while we were working on the script, but it wasn't written with a particular cast in mind. I always try to avoid thinking about any particular actor when writing dialogue; I think it can be counter-productive.  

5/ What is your writing process like when collaborating with Matthew Vaughn?

As the director, Matthew has a strong vision for his films from the outset. He initially works alone on the story's structure, then we talk it through in detail, and then I go off and write. After that we talk pretty much daily and I send Matthew a steady stream of revisions, polishing and refining until we have a draft we're both happy with. This is the third project we've worked on together and I certainly couldn't wish for a more brilliantly talented and inspiring collaborator.

6/ What involvement did you have with the film once the production began?

I am a co-producer on the film, and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be on set every day. Most writers rarely have the chance to remain actively involved in a project beyond the initial scripting process, and I'm eternally grateful to Matthew for providing it.