For a while the villain in Matthew Vaughn's "The Secret Service," an adaptation of a limited comic book series by Mark Millar ("Kick-Ass") and Dave Gibbons ("Watchmen"), was the movie's biggest missing puzzle piece. The two leads -- Colin Firth, set to play a veteran spy, and Taron Egerton, his young apprentice -- were a lock, but the villain eluded the filmmakers, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise rejecting offers to play the baddie.
Now they've found their (bad) man, reports Variety, and it is Samuel L. Jackson.
Now, not that we don't love Jackson -- because you mother-effers know we do -- but he's not exactly as high a caliber star as Cruise or DiCaprio. However, we're sure that the actor, a mainstay of the Marvel cinematic universe as S.H.I.E.L.D. bigwig Nick Fury, will perform the role with relish and, most likely, extra cheese.
The last time Jackson was a bad guy in a comic book movie ("The Spirit"), it was an experience so traumatizing that we occasionally still have Vietnam-style flashbacks to it.
In Millar's "Secret Service" comic book, a young street tough is taken in by his secret agent uncle and shown a shadowy world few are allowed to see. Together, they uncover a dark conspiracy involving kidnapped science-fiction stars (Mark Hamill will appear in the movie) and all sorts of James Bond-ian derring-do, but complete with Millar's singular wit and deconstructionist worldview.
Vaughn was originally on board to direct "X-Men: Days of Future Past," a sequel to his swinging '60s X-adventure "X-Men: First Class." But after completing the script (with frequent co-writer Jane Goldman; the two also wrote "Secret Service"), he passed the project back to director Bryan Singer, who had helmed the first two "X-Men" movies. Vaughn moved onto "Secret Service," the rights to which he personally purchased, and began setting it up independently, in a similar fashion to what he did with "Kick-Ass," with 20th Century Fox beating out Universal for distribution rights.
Hopefully "The Secret Service" will -- wait for it -- kick ass when it hits theaters November 14, 2014.