Writer-director James Gunn had an idea back in 2002 about a superhero with no superpowers. Years later, the character Crimson Bolt came to life with his kid sidekick Boltie in the feature film Super. Their motto is simply, “Don’t steal, don’t deal drugs and don’t molest kids.” This adult superhero story is a tale about good versus evil, morality and personal relationships with God.

“I just kept coming back to this script that I couldn’t ignore anymore,” recalls Gunn. “This is a film I felt called to make, and I loved the idea of a superhero without powers. It was initially a short film, but I kept writing and writing, making it bigger.”

When easygoing Frank (Rainn Wilson) fears he is losing his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) to a local drug dealer, he decides to fight back and win her affections again. He decides to become an everyman superhero named Crimson Bolt. With a homemade maroon suit of spandex and a pipe wrench, he sets out to rid the world, or more specifically his local town, of crime — all this in hopes of keeping his wife. He soon gets a kid sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page) whose berserk eagerness can sometimes help but also hinder him along the journey. The film takes on a life of its own, and you can’t quite put your finger on which category it falls into, which was intentional.

Wilson reflects, “James sent me the script, and I was 22 pages in and I remember saying I’m in, I love it, my hands are trembling. I thought it was so cool. It’s a dark comedy, it’s sort of a romance, but sometimes it’s serious.”

In absolute agreement is Tyler: “I loved the script and was compelled by the characters, and it made me laugh my ass off. It was wrong and right, happy and sad. I was just moved by the story.”

When all of the characters were mostly cast, Wilson and Gunn were hoping for Page but never actually dreamed of getting her. Wilson passed the script on to her and she loved it.

“I love Rainn Wilson,” states Page. “I adore him, every moment working with him is an absolute pleasure. I’d write a puppet show with him! I’m such a total dork about working with him, because he’s so much fun, and I loved the writing.”

Wilson brags, “She was perfect for the role. She really makes me laugh and sometimes it was hard to keep a straight face.”

They are quite an onscreen duo, and the chemistry is apparent.

“Libby, aka Boltie, from the get-go is very exuberant and uncensored,” Page describes, “and doesn’t have a great concept of personal space. As the film progresses, she goes towards psychopathic tendencies. Her thirst for violence becomes really apparent.”

The violence in the film has been a much-discussed topic, since it is so graphic and at times jarring. Page comes to the film’s defense: “What I like about this film is that it’s real and grounded. If some person decided to be a superhero, it shows what the impact would actually be – the reality of violence.”

“We take for granted what our idea of violence is,” Gunn stresses. “Batman knocks people out unconscious and you never see anything. With Super, you see what the ramifications of violence actually are. When you club someone in this movie you see their skull split open because that would naturally happen!”

Not all of the film centers around blood and guts, there was a lot of fun to be had.

“OMG, It was so cold in Shreveport, La.,” Page remembers, “and the first day we shot I was outside in spandex and a bra. It was rough, but always still really fun.”

“The bodysuit was freezing, and it was like being naked running around in the cold,” says Wilson. “Oh, and it was stinky! Stinky spandex, running around in the mud.”

Ultimately, the film is about a superhero/vigilante, and Wilson asks, “Is he a psychopath or a hero?”

That’s up to you to decide.

Super releases in theaters April 1.