Three Studios Competing For 'Kick-Ass' Distribution

Kick-AssAt last month's Comic-Con, a lucky section of fandom viewed a plethora of footage from "Kick-Ass," the Matthew Vaughn-directed film based on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's comic book of the same name -- but without a studio lined up, it was quite possible that the footage would be the first and only public glimpse of the movie.

That didn't stop Vaughn's prediction of a 2010 release date, and now he has three reasons to back that claim up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a trio of studios -- Lionsgate, Paramount and Universal, to be precise -- are competing for the right to purchase "Kick-Ass," thanks to special buyer screenings that took place a week after Comic-Con.

The perfectly reasonable question is, "What took so long?" As those of you that saw the footage from the film or have read the comic books can attest, the story of "Kick-Ass" is hardly for the feint of heart. By all accounts, the blood-spattered violence and swear-strewn language permeates the Vaughn-directed film's script on every level. As a result, studios were skeptical about its box office prospects and passed on the screenplay.

Now that the production is complete thanks to Vaughn's own financing, studios face a far less risky decision -- and given the extraordinary response the footage garnered from Comic-Con viewers, the film's prospects are actually quite high. It's almost a wonder that only three studios are competitively vying for its affection.

Each of the three studios in question either have comic book properties of their own in development or completed. Lionsgate released "Punisher: War Zone" and "The Spirit" last year, Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" just hit theaters and Universal's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is due in 2010.

Which studio does "Kick-Ass" belong at? Let us know your opinion in the comments section!