Super is an ultra-violent superhero comedy by Slither's James Gunn that stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon, and Nathan Fillion. They say it's "an effed up, low-rent Watchmen," and what we saw lived up to all that incredible promise.
The movie focuses on Frank, a small town sad sack played by Rainn Wilson. His marriage to his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) falls apart when she gets hooked on drugs and falls into the clutch of the local rich sleazeball, played by Kevin Bacon. In a desperate attempt to get her back, he assumes the identity of the Crimson Bolt, a superhero who might not have any powers but is very, very willing to get violent and kick some seriously lethal ass. (The trailer ends with a guy getting blown up with a stick of dynamite.) He reluctantly brings on the young Libby (Ellen Page) in his quest for justice, who becomes his sidekick Bolty. Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion are also in the film, although we didn't see a lot of them in the trailer - Fillion's appearance was limited to one very awesome, sly-looking wink.
After the trailer, we were also shown an unfinished scene from the movie. Rainn Wilson's character is in a long line for a movie, and a random jerk cuts in front of him in line. He loudly yells "No butts!" to remind him of the famous rules of line etiquette, but the guy just brushes him off. He then very conspicuously goes to his car and changes into his Crimson Bolt uniform, showing off his very unflattering white underpants. This seemingly harmless (if creepy) moment falls apart quickly when the Crimson Bolt goes up to the man, repeats the "No butts!" command, and then splits his skull open with a hammer. (Oh yes, this very is definitely a James Gunn movie.)
James Gunn said he's been working on this movie for about seven or eight years, and it's a very personal film for him. He said that it's intended to be a funny movie with lots of violence and gore, but it's also got very human, dramatic elements that really make you feel that this is a movie about actual people, no matter how crazed they might be. He added that this is a labor of love for everyone involved. They made it for nearly no money, and all the actors worked for the absolute lowest amount the Screen Actor's Guild would let them. Rainn Wilson came aboard a couple years ago, and then it was a question of finding the right actors to join the cast.
The two explained that they got people for the movie that they never dreamed they could actually get. Gunn said, "Ellen Page was at the very top of our list to play Libby and Liv Tyler was at the very top of our list to play Sarah." And Wilson added, "We literally had this discussion where we said we need an Ellen Page type and a Liv Tyler type, and at a certain point we just said, 'Why don't we send them the fucking script?'"
On her role as Libby, who becomes the Crimson Bolt's sidekick Bolty, Page explained:
She's a lunatic and Libby definitely has got some issues. She's definitely a sociopath hinging on psychopath. Unlike [my] character in Hard Candy who's definitely terrifying because she sees something wrong to do with the world and is willing to do something about it, whereas Libby is ready to kill someone because they maybe keyed their friend's cars.
Rainn Wilson mentioned that the two share a scene that is creepily close:
We had a very special scene where Ellen and I were intimate somewhat against my will. Let's just say her character LIbby has her way with my character Frank. And it's kind of awesome and kind of icky.
Gunn quipped, "Mostly icky."
Michael Rooker jokingly said he was so disappointed that he didn't get to kill anyone in this movie that he went home and cried. He didn't even work with Ellen Page, although he claimed he "watched her from afar." He said he plays a sad character who doesn't do much except eat lots of Good n' Plenty.
And Nathan Fillion? We only saw a single shot of him in the trailer, but he explained that his long-haired superhero is the Holy Avenger, with the power of "charisma" - that's with a "ch" like "church," because he combines a magnetic personality with church-like holiness. In the movie, he's a character on a TV show who appears to Rainn Wilson in visions and becomes his "mentor." Finally, when asked the all-important question, the original Captain Tightpants confirmed that in this movie: "The pants...the tightest."
Super looks completely terrific, and we'd honestly expect nothing less from the guy who made Slither, working with a cast that's this amazing. Consider this an official declaration: We cannot wait to see this movie.
(Unfortunately, there aren't any images out yet for Super, so we went with the last Rainn Wilson/Ellen Page movie, Juno, for our top image.)