The new James Gunn movie Super, a deeply weird, oddly endearing story of a mild-mannered man compelled to fight crime after his wife walks out on him, enjoyed a raucous premiere at SXSW. “Shut up, crime!” Rainn Wilson’s Crimson Bolt hollers at the world. Armed with a monkey wrench and his erratic sidekick, Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt makes everyone from drug dealers to line-butters pay for their sins. The day after the premiere, EW was invited to tag along as Wilson donned his Crimson Bolt suit once more to kick some unsuspecting criminal ass in downtown Austin.
Up in his room at the Four Seasons, Wilson put on the rather pungent suit for the first time since the film’s wrap over a year ago. “Oh, this sweaty monstrosity,” he winced, before donning the red mask. Wilson’s plan was to roll up to some highly trafficked downtown spots in an SUV, then jump out to surprise would-be criminals while the cameras rolled. “I’m going to be like Anderson Cooper in Egypt,” he said. The ridiculousness would be captured in a video timed to the film’s April 1 release. “I hate it when people say they’re making a viral video,” he said with a laugh. “You’re making a video and it may or not be viral.”
“Where you going all dressed up?” a cute young Dwight Schrute fan wondered outside. “To fight crime,” Wilson responded. Whether looming protectively over a woman as she tried to use the ATM machine at the Austin Convention Center, or questioning the motives of a PF Changs employee throwing out trash in a back alley dumpster, the Crimson Bolt stayed true to his mission. Outside the Texas State Capitol, from which Wilson was invited to leave by security guards, a rather disheveled-looking man announced that his block had recently been plagued by a rash of criminal activity. Before he’d finished giving his address, the Crimson Bolt sprinted off in search of the evil-doers. “But I haven’t given you my zip code yet,” the man called after Wilson.
Check back to EW.com in the coming weeks for an exclusive look at Rainn Wilson’s video that may or may not go viral. Super hits theaters April 1.