Matthew Vaughn has been doing a lot of talking during the press run for “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and not just about this upcoming spy comedy. He’s been using his time to throw shout outs at “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” while saying that “[Christopher] Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it.” It’s the latter quote that particularly gained traction, but speaking with HeyUGuys, Vaughn says he was “misquoted,” providing more context for what he really meant to say.
“What I said was, Nolan is very good at doing what he did. Batman, and the subject matter of Batman, deserved to be dark,” he explained. “But I don’t think Superman should be dark. The clue is in the costume for what it should be like. You should always respect source material, and if you’re going to reinvent it, reinvent in a way that’s done with respect, not just for the sake of doing it… it’s a bad, hard world right now. My job, and I think other directors’ jobs, is to give people two hours of escapism.”
To that end, he feels the Academy needs to step up in this regard and honor movies beyond dramas. “Most of the movies nominated for Oscars put me to sleep. They’re like TV films,” he says. “I’m the sort of filmmaker that grew up in the ‘70s, and I watched ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones,’ and I sat there exhilarated and having the time of my life in the cinema, and I want to continue that tradition.”
The film that worked in that tradition to enormous popular and critical acclaim in 2014 was the aforementioned “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and once again, Vaughn gushes over the Marvel movie which earned two Oscar nominations in technical categories: he says it should’ve received more. “ ‘Guardians,’ no [Oscar] recognition. And that film is a lot harder to make than…I’m not going to name the movies, but films where you plonk a camera here and have a good actor [there]. It’s crazy. ‘Guardians’ should’ve been nominated.”
“Back in its time, ‘Ben-Hur’ was a superhero film…I think the balance needs to come back from [the conventional Academy wisdom that] just because it’s a worthy subject matter and dramatic [it’s better]. [Christopher] Nolan should’ve won an Oscar by now,” Vaughn adds.
Thoughts? Are filmmakers really just there to keep audiences entertained for a couple of hours? Do blockbusters deserve more credit for the craft? Let us know below. And oh yeah, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” opens on February 13th.