SUPER (USA 2010)


James Gunn


James Gunn



James Gunn


Ted Hope


Tyler Bates




Rainn Wilson

Frank D’Arbo / The Crimson Bolt

Liv Tyler

Sarah Helgeland

Ellen Page

Libby / Boltie

Kevin Bacon


Nathan Fillion

The Holy Avenger

Gregg Henry

John Felkner

Michael Rooker


Linda Cardellini

Pet Store Employee

Andre Royo


Sean Gunn


James Gunn



(Complete Cast & Crew)





96 minutes




US $3,000,000

Filming dates:

9th December 2009 - 24th January 2010 (24 shooting days)

Filming locations:

Shreveport, Louisiana / Los Angeles, California


R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use / unrated (USA)

World premiere:

10th September 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)

Company / Studio:

This Is That Productions, Ambush Entertainment, Hanway Films, IFC Films

Official website:

IMDb website:

DVD premiere:

9th August 2011 (USA, Region Code 1, IFC / MPI)  (click here to see more DVD releases)





English Press Kit by IFC Films

(PDF Document, 168 KB)



Frank (Rainn Wilson) is an average guy who transforms himself into superhero The Crimson Bolt after his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) hooks up with a smooth-talking drug dealer, Jacques. What Frank lacks in superpowers, he makes up for with a trusty wrench in his one-man war on crime. But every superhero needs a sidekick. Enter Libby (Ellen Page), a cute psychopath working at the local comic book store. Transforming into "Boltie", Libby teams up with Frank to take Jacques down. From the surprising imagination of writer-director James Gunn (Slither) comes Bolt and Boltie, a crazed crime fighting duo for the XBox generation. They're here to save the day, or at least to beat you up.

2010 Toronto International Film Festival - Official description (by Colin Geddes)

With the recent onslaught of superhero send-ups, it seems as though this premise has become somewhat of a genre unto itself. No stranger to rebel filmmaking, James Gunn cut his teeth writing for Troma before making his directing debut with 2006’s Slither. In a similar vein, his follow-up feature combines absurd humour with balls-out violence to create something that is both unashamed and inimitable. But this time Gunn adds a new ingredient, one that is dark, dramatic and subversive to the core.

When sad sack Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) sees his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), he finds himself unable to cope. But when the finger of God blesses his brain (don’t ask), D’Arbo decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. In order to get his wife back, he must first fight his way up the criminal ranks, and he begins by taking a monkey wrench to the foreheads of a couple who cut in line at the movies. As Crimson Bolt begins to make the headlines, a young woman from the local comic book store (Ellen Page) joins in on the fun as his sexually charged sidekick, Boltie.

The cast is dead-on, with Wilson making the heroic leap to leading man status. Page and Bacon are equally impressive and self-effacing in their supporting roles; both say and do things you could never imagine and we could never print. Rounding out the cast are appearances from longtime genre icons Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) and Troma’s own Lloyd Kaufman.

While Crimson Bolt bears likeness to the Watchmen, Defendor and Kick-Ass, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes. If this outlandish dark comedy is not the zenith of its breed, God help us from what’s to come. Whether you’re new to the graphic novel game or a seasoned fanboy, you will find SUPER to live up to its name.


  • AQCC Prize (2011 Fantasia International Film Festival, 7th August 2011)
  • Best Geek Picture (2012 Golden Geeks, 24th February 2012)
  • Best Geek Actress (Ellen Page, 2012 Golden Geeks, 24th February 2012)


  • The movie was shot in only 24 days
  • Super was written and in development before the Kick-Ass comic ever came out
  • Director James Gunn wrote the script eight years ago
  • Ambush Entertainment was also involved in the “Burma: It can’t wait” campaign
  • The (inofficial) mascot is a brown bunny named after Ellen’s movie character Boltie
  • Parts of the movie were filmed in director James Gunn’s house in LA
  • Super was Ellen's first project where the cast and crew actively used Twitter during the filming and production process
  • Super is a low-budget independent project. Everyone involved did it for scale
  • Ellen was the first choice to play Libby
  • Producer Ted Hope got on board after finding out about the film on Twitter
  • Ted Hope describes the entire film as "an f-ed up, low-rent Watchmen"
  • James Gunn’s ex-wife Jenna Fischer commended the script to Rainn Wilson’s attention on the set of “The Office”
  • When Rainn saw the script he decided he absolutely had to play the character and the movie must be made
  • Rainn wilson has an intimate scene with Ellen, which he describes as “kind of awesome and kind of icky”
  • There are religious elements in the film, especially in regards to Rainn Wilson's character
  • They shot half of Liv Tyler's entire film appearance in one day
  • Liv Tyler got into the mind of a drug addict by spinning in circles in her trailer while taking the occasional shot of whiskey
  • Super is Liv Tyler's first since finishing "The Incredible Hulk"
  • Ellen Page has never met Kevin Bacon on the set because they had no scenes together
  • Ellen Page said at the Comic-Con in July 2010 that she's really proud and lucky to be part of the film
  • Ellen Page's work in the film is almost exclusively with Rainn Wilson
  • They were literally doing 50 setups a day, while most big-budget films do 15 setups at the most, during a shooting day
  • Steve Agee has a one line cameo inside a comic book store. It's a four-letter word and it starts with 'C'
  • Rob Zombie has a cameo in the film. He plays the voice of God
  • EPO announced the world premiere at the Toronto Internatinal Film Festival before director James Gunn did ;-)
  • Ellen was supposed to attend the Japan premiere of “Inception”, but eventually joined the Super panel at Comic-Con
  • Director James Gunn makes a cameo appearance as Demonswill, the Holy Avenger’s TV nemesis/Satanic figure
  • All of Nathan Fillion's scenes were filmed in Los Angeles due to scheduling conflicts
  • Director James Gunn describes working with Ellen as one of the highlights of his career
  • The Holy Avenger segments were the very last thing that James Gunn and his team shot in Los Angeles
  • Ellen's skin colour was digitally altered in a scene because she went blue in the face while shooting outside
  • The movie made $324,138 at the US box office (April - June 2011)


  • "The difference is that Super exists in our world. It's actually really based in reality, and a really grounded screenplay. It's about if someone in just a really raw way was, like, 'I'm going to be a superhero.' And that's who Rainn plays. [...] Very dark humor. James Gunn knows his s--t. [...] James Gunn's script is very much like just if you decided to be a superhero and did what superheroes do, but basically your weapon's a lead pipe. Like, what [would] people think?" (Ellen Page on the movie; Source:
  • “It’s my favorite script I’ve ever written – dark, and funny, and violent, and unlike anything I’ve done. We’re putting a dream cast together.” (director James Gunn on the script and cast, Source:
  • “Honestly, I just want to make the greatest movie possible. Sure, I want it to be a commercial success, but what's truly important is that it blows people's minds and moves people intensely.” (James Gunn on what will make Super a success for him personally, in terms of bums on seats at the cinema, DVD sales, etc.; Source:
  • “Having Liv and Ellen involved takes a lot of pressure off, actually, because it makes this quirky little piece a lot more commercial.” (director James Gunn on the question if having people like Ellen Page and Liv Tyler on board put more pressure on him; Source:
  • "The script is actually about five years old," Gunn told us. "I wrote the script before anything else was out there like this and it just kind of stuck around. I always wanted to make the movie but it's very esoteric and a very unique film. It's sort of a half-serious film about real human beings and it's half this extremely dark comedy with a lot of violence and a lot of sex. It was hard to find a home for it, because it's a very unique piece." (director James Gunn on the script; Source:
  • "About a year ago, my ex-wife, Jenna Fischer, gave the script to Rainn Wilson, because she kept trying to get me to make this movie. Rainn read it and fell in love with the lead role. I had the money to make the movie before, but I could never agree upon that lead actor. It's a very specific type of person. He's got to have the emotional ability to to really good acting, he also has to be funny, big enough that he can be physically threatened at times, yet also, with all respect to Rainn, dorky enough that you can imagine him being picked on all his life and messed with. A lot of actors wanted to play the role for a long time, but it was a hard role to fit and I didn't want to go in there with the wrong actor. Rainn is perfect for it. He's amazing. [...] Once he signed on, then all of the sudden we have Ellen Page, who was our top choice for that role, signed up immediately and then Liv Tyler, who we couldn't believe we got, signed up for that role and then Kevin Bacon. We made the movie for nothing. Everybody did it for scale, so it's been a really fun project, a very difficult project and emotionally taxing, but I'm really happy with the way the movie is coming out." (director James Gunn on the casting; Source:
  • “I play a girl named Libby who is quite the little sociopath ...let's just say I have never played anyone like her. I had an absolute blad shooting this film and an amazing time with Rainn, he is hilarious and just a joy to work with. There is a lot of skin tight spandex action. My favorite. [...] Playing Libby in Super was a blast because she is so extraverted and hyper. Working with someone as funny and brilliant as Rainn [Wilson] made it easy to keep that energy going.” (Ellen Page on her role in Super; Source: Faces Magazine Halifax - April 2010 issue)
  • “Super was a wonderful example of team work. We communicated our limitations to everyone before they signed on, and with only one exception, everyone recognizes that we were in it together. Indie filmmaking is a demonstration on the interconnectedness of all things. If you go over on the wardrobe budget, it means you can't license the music you want at the end of the day. The cast and crew got this. No one had anything beyond the essentials. We were lean and mean, a rapid Super  shooting machine. It was always about the movie and not the perks. The crew had the best housing -- and Miranda, James, and I had the worst. This isn't the kind of movie that gets made every day and every one indicated that they knew it was a privilege to be part of it. Yet, you can't ask people to do their best work and truly give their all, if such an example of commitment wasn't embraced from the top down. James Gunn's enthusiasm, passion, and preparedness was infectious. He was first to arrive and knew what he wanted. He made his process transparent and was the first to enforce the necessity to move fast. The team organized so well around him that we never had to sacrifice quality.” (producer Ted Hope on sacrifices he and the team made to realize the film; Source:
  • "I get raped by Ellen Page, and I make out with Liv Tyler. It’s like I wrote the movie myself, you know what I mean?" (Rainn Wilson on why the movie is every guy's fantasy; Source:
  • “It's what I set out to make - a movie that's powerful to a small group of people. It's certainly not a film for everyone, but many of those people who like it seem to really love it. I've never been involved with a film where people are so intense about it. I love that.” (director James Gunn on the success of his movie; Source:

Release Dates:



Festival / Event / Location / Comment



10th-18th September 2010

Toronto International Film Festival


7th-17th October 2010

Sitges Film Festival, Sitges


3rd-4th December 2010

Torino Film Fest / Cinema Massimo


5th March 2011

Emerald City Comicon / Seattle


12th-14th March 2011

SXSW Film Festival, Austin, Texas


20th March 2011

USC School of Cinematic Arts / Special screening


21st March 2011

LA Premiere



28th March 2011

Independent Film Festival Boston


30th March 2011

reRun Gastropub Theater, Brooklyn


1st April 2011

Theatrical release / Los Angeles, NYC and others



2nd April 2011

WonderCon 2011 / San Francisco


2nd-3rd April 2011

Hawaii International Film Festival


8th April 2011

Theatrical release / Chicago, New Haven and others



11th April 2011

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival


15th April 2011

Theatrical release / Miami, Dallas, Seattle and others



16th-17th April 2011

Florida Film Festival / Regal Winter Park Village A/B


22nd April 2011

Theatrical release / Indianapolis, Eugene and others



28th April 2011

Theatrical release / Albuquerque



29th April 2011

Theatrical release / Sacramento, Lincoln and others


United Kingdom

2nd May 2011



4th May 2011

Theatrical release / Boulder



6th May 2011

Theatrical release / Bryan, Springfield and other



12th May 2011

Theatrical release / Deal Park



13th May 2011

Theatrical release / Charleston, Des Moines and others



27th May 2011

Theatrical release / Honolulu



3rd June 2011

Theatrical release / Omaha



6th June 2011

Theatrical release / Atlanta



8th June 2011

Theatrical release / Jackson



10th June 2011

Theatrical release


United Kingdom

8th July 2011

Theatrical release



21st-28th July 2011

Fantasia Film Festival / Hall Theater, Montreal


29th July-7th August 2011

Melbourne International Film Festival


30th July 2011

Theatrical release

United Kingdom

1st August 2011

DVD / Blu-ray release



9th August 2011

DVD / Blu-ray release



16th Aug-7th Sep 2011

Fantasy Filmfest / Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and others


7th September 2011

L'Étrange Festival / Paris


8th September 2011




8th-10th September 2011

Sydney Underground Film Festival


24th September 2011

Singapore International Film Festival / Lido 4 Theatre


12th October 2011

DVD / Blu-ray release



5th-13th November 2011

Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata


20th Nov-17th Dec 2011

Showtime (TV premiere) / Watch On Demand


26th November 2011

Gold Coast Film Festival / Queensland


1st December 2011

DVD / Blu-ray release



5th January 2012

DVD / Blu-ray release



7th January 2012

DVD / Blu-ray release



27th January 2012

DVD / Blu-ray release



6th March 2012

DVD / Blu-ray release


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