A Scottish comic book writer has hit out at Jim Carrey after the Hollywood star effectively disowned a film he was starring in because of its violence.
The comedy actor denounced the level of violence in Kick Ass 2 in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings in December.
"I did Kick-Ass 2 a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence," he wrote.
"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."
The comment drew an irritable response from Scottish Kick Ass 2 comic writer Mark Millar, who is also the film's chief executive.
"[I'm] baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn't in the screenplay 18 months ago," he wrote on his blog.
"Yes, the body count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us Hit Girl was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much …
"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! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorsese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless bodycount of most big summer pictures and focuses instead on the CONSEQUENCES of violence.
"Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can't be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action movie."
Carrey previously won plaudits for a comedy sketch in which he spoofed former National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston's famous 'cold dead hands' speech.
The controversy is somewhat expected for the Kick Ass franchise, the first film of which featured a murderous 12-year-old girl who used extremely bad language.
That caused a storm of controversy but also probably helped boost the independent film's notoriety.
Millar himself is also well known in the comic book world for depictions of violence and sadism which are sometimes considered excessive.
Twenty children and six adults died in the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, last year.