Way back in the halcyon days of 2012, “X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn was all set to work on the then-untitled follow-up to that film. Two years later, the film – now titled “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” – ended up in the hands of Bryan Singer and Vaughn instead helmed the spy movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” So, what happened?
In an interview with IGN, Vaughn explained that his decision to leave the X-Men universe wasn’t made lightly, saying “the [Kingsman] script fell out of me – just one of those things. I remember Fox going ‘What are you talking about?’ because the two scripts came in at the same time. I was like ‘Aw, s#!t.’ It was a really tough decision whether to do ‘Days of Future Past’ or do [Kingsman: The Secret Service].”
It didn’t take long, however, for Vaughn to realize which decision was the right one for him, noting that if “somebody else is going to wake up and do a fun spy movie[,] then I will have written a bloody screenplay that no one will want to make.” And like that, Vaughn says, “I probably made the craziest decision of my life to turn down an $800 million gorilla to do ‘Kingsman.’ But Kingsman’s more me anyway.”
So, what does he promise with his upcoming movie? Well, a blockbuster that shrugs off the grim seriousness of other likeminded fare, and he points to a recent Marvel movie that had a similar vibe. “[I wanted to get back to] a sense of fun,” Vaughn said. “The gadgets — just being pure entertainment, not heavy. I think superhero films are going up their asses as well. Marvel, thank God, when I saw ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ I was like, ‘Yeah! This is a film that’s entertaining, it’s taken some risks, it managed to make me care about a raccoon and a tree. This is a fucking genius piece of filmmaking.’ I’m like, ‘How can I be caring and enjoying this so much?’”
We certainly can’t begrudge him the opportunity to do something that holds more personal meaning for him, but just for the record, to date, ‘Days of Future Past’ has grossed roughly $746 million worldwide, and its sequel, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” is already heading towards production with its villain in tow. Will audiences be as eager for a looser, lighter spy movie?
We won’t really know just how crazy Vaughn’s decision to leave “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was until “Kingsman: The Secret Service” hits theaters next year on February 13th.