Many fan(boys) reacted to the news that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn dropped out of the sequel film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, by pointing the finger at Fox, which has gained a reputation (fairly in some cases, not so fairly in others) for meddling with the creative vision of its comic book films. With Vaughn having a history of fickleness when it comes to crafting his films (check out the latest Screen Rant podcast for a few examples), it wasn’t hard to imagine that friction between studio and director was the root of the problem.
The issue, according to Millar, was NOT friction between Fox and Vaughn – but rather another film project that conflicted with Vaughn’s job on Days of Future Past. We previously reported on The Secret Service, a comic book that Millar and Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons collaborated on; Vaughn has been circling The Secret Service movie adaptation for some time, but according to Millar, other filmmakers were trying to copy the idea. As he told CBR:
“We thought Matthew was going to do X-Men first, but we found out there were actually a few imitators of ‘Secret Service’ in the works. People think you’re lying when you say you’re not trying to get your comics made into movies so quickly, but the two reasons it happens like that is first because it’s the best ad for the comic you’ll ever have. And for me, selling the book is the most important thing. The second reason is because people are always trying to rip you off. Somebody will start to work on a spec screenplay about your idea. There are three other projects I know of now about a James Bond kind of guy taking a street kid and turning him into a spy. Three screenplays were already going through Hollywood about this! So Matthew and I said, ‘F*ck this. We’re not letting anyone steal our ideas.’”
For those who haven’t seen the comic, The Secret Service follows a secret agent who takes his nephew (a “street kid”) and trains him to become a super spy. Though we haven’t read it yet, knowing Millar, we expect a combination of James Bond and Wanted. Since Vaughn did so well with Millar’s superhero origin satire, Kick-Ass, we also expect the two to have a successful collaboration on The Secret Service movie.
Now, it has been LONG chronicled on this Website (and others) that Mark Millar’s words must always be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes what he says isn’t quite accurate. But we’ll probably know soon enough just how valid his claim is, as there is sure to be some kind of official announcement that Vaughn has moved on to The Secret Service. Unless, of course, he shows up at the helm of a different movie…
We’ll keep you updated on the status of The Secret Service as news comes in.
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.