– . – Writer – Mark Millar
Writer – Mark Millar
As the creator of graphic novels Wanted and Kick-Ass, and now the writer/director of superhero movie Miracle Park, Mark Millar has tamed an industry that doesn’t take kindly to newcomers. And, as he explains, in order to succeed, you must never compromise…
Mark Millar kicks ass. Not just on the page, but on the silver screen too. The creative force behind movies like Wanted and Kick-Ass requires little introduction, as he’s risen to dizzying heights as a writer, then an executive producer and now, in his latest venture Miracle Park, as a director in his own right. With Marvel employing his previous work for their movie franchises, Millar is in the rare position of being able to see the industry from the clearest viewing position of all: the top. And he knows how far the drop is, because he started at the bottom.
“It can be soul-destroying writing stuff and not getting paid,” Millar reflects. “That’s how I started. But necessity is a great thing. It forces you to be commercial. I think there’s a kind of literary Darwinism in evidence in all forms of media; it’s very much a case of the survival of the fittest. I hear people
complaining about the system, but you have to totally embrace the system if you’re going to survive as a creative person; you have to love the idea of what you’re doing. If you stop loving it for a minute, it’s over.”
Millar’s rise from humble comic-book writer to Hollywood producer may be the stuff of superhero origins, but there’s no doubt that he’s worked hard it’s an 11-hour day, and at 5pm, I do an hour of interviews; you have to be your own publicist,” he reveals. “It’s an absolute necessity for me to be disciplined about the way I work, because of all the things I’ve taken on, like working with Marvel or setting up [website] Millarworld. There’s just not enough hours in the day.” But when it comes to getting his work onto the screen there’s only one mantra for Millar: no compromise.
Kick-Ass was a fairly radical idea for a superhero movie, and we found that out when we took it to the studios. They turned it down, so we made it ourselves and sold it to Lionsgate without any notes or changes,” he says. “In the world of publishing, you get used to working with amazing, creative people, and that gives you a certain self belief. Working in the industry is not something that a schools career officer would ever tell you to do, yet it’s not defying gravity; it’s a real thing you can do.