Jim Carrey has attacked the “level of violence” in his new film Kick-Ass 2, claiming he can no longer “support” the film in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The 51-year-old actor plays Colonel Stars and Stripes in the upcoming sequel, a masked vigilante and a born-again Christian who refuses to fire guns.
The Kick-Ass films, and the comics on which they are based, are famed for their colourful and emphatic scenes of violence. The first film, released in 2010, attracted controversy because an 11-year-old Chloe Moretz used the word ‘c***’ - but it earned $96m at the box office on a budget of $30m.
Carrey, a passionate advocate of gun control, provoked speculation that he will refuse to perform promotional duties for the film on Twitter.
“I did Kickass (sic) a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” he told his 10.8 million followers.
“…My apologies to others involve[d] with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
In December last year, gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The tragedy sparked debates over restricting access to firearms in the US, and Carrey has voiced his concerns over their easy availability via his Twitter account.
Some Kick-Ass fans suggested Jim Carrey should donate his fee for the movie to charity.
“I trust Jim Carrey will be donating his Kick Ass 2 money to Sandy Hook victims?” wrote Twitter user Kevin Lively.
Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar said the actor’s confession was “surprising” in a post on his blog.
“I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I'm baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago,” he wrote.
“Like Jim, I'm horrified by real-life violence (even though I'm Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn't a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production!”
Millar also defended film violence: “Imagine a John Wayne picture where he wasn’t packing, or a Rocky movie where Stallone wasn’t punching someone repeatedly in the face.”
He also said the film avoids the “usual bloodless body-count” of other summer blockbusters. In Man of Steel and Avengers Assemble, for example, filmmakers show huge collateral damage, but shy away from revealing its human cost.
At the CineEurope convention in Barcelona on Tuesday, Universal Pictures marketing executive Simon Hewlett did not comment on the Carrey controversy, but did promise that the film would be a “bigger, badder, more ballsy adventure” than the original.
Kick-Ass 2 is due for release in the UK on 14 August.