Kick-Ass hasn’t even been released yet and already there are rumblings from parent groups who plan to protest the film. At issue is the character of Hit Girl, an eleven-year-old masked avenger played by eleven-year-old Chloe Moretz. Hit Girl engages in unspeakably brutal violence throughout the film, murdering bad guys in the most vicious, graphic fashion imaginable. Towards the end of the film, a great deal of violence is done to her as well and audiences will see an eleven-year-old kid brutally beaten and bloodied by the movie’s adult bad guy, played by Mark Strong.

So it’s no surprise that Kick-Ass might be too violent for some people. What is surprising is that it was also too violent for its cast. During his press conference this past weekend at SXSW, director Matthew Vaughn revealed that he was unable to make the film’s final fight scene as brutal as he wanted because Strong refused to cooperate.

Says Vaughn, “I wanted Mark to stamp on her head in the fight and really kick her around the room, but he refused to do it.” It seems Mark was as uneasy with the movie’s violence against children as parents are. Vaughn explains that Strong, “He felt uncomfortable about stamping on her head.”

It’s worth noting that Strong was not present to promote the film, so he couldn’t address his reasons for refusing to do the scene himself. But when it comes to violence against kids, there’s are lines that Hollywood almost never crosses. Kick-Ass crosses all of them and it makes sense that Strong would be uncomfortable with being the guy required to deliver the punishment.

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