Kingsman: The Golden Circle director Matthew Vaughn would prefer to work with DC over Marvel right now for a somewhat surprising reason: he feels there would be much less pressure to succeed with the somewhat beleaguered DCEU.
Vaughn is no stranger to big screen comic book adaptations. After coming to prominence with the Daniel Craig starring drug thriller Layer Cake, Vaughn helmed Kingsman and Kick-Ass, both adaptations of comics created by Mark Millar. Vaughn also revived the floundering X-Men film franchise with the 2011 reboot X-Men: First Class, which was set in the 1960s and injected a new sense of style and fun into the angsty world of mutants.
Vaughn's name routinely comes up when fans are discussing their dream directors for comic book properties, and the director is giving DC fans some hope that he may indeed come onboard. In an interview with IGN, Vaughn says he would be more interested in directing a DC movie than a Marvel movie, though for some not-so-flattering reasons:
It's more fun getting involved with franchises when they're on the down, because then it's easier to make a good film, so if I got involved with a few of the superhero films out there that have been disappointing, it's going to be...if I do OK, it'll probably be better.
Vaughn uses his First Class experience - which came in the wake of the reviled X-Men: The Last Stand - as an example of how lower stakes can lead to more reasonable expectations and creative freedom:
So when I did X-Men there was, you know, a pretty low bar — X-Men 3, no offence, was not a fantastic piece of work. It's much more fun saving and reinventing something — I'd be more intimidated trying to do a new Guardians [of the Galaxy], for example.
Vaughn makes it clear he's not necessarily doing a superhero film next - he's still hoping to get a third Kingsman film off the ground - but it's encouraging that he's at least thinking about it. Vaughn has previously confirmed he's had discussions with DC about a potential Superman film, so it seems like a safe bet that he's largely talking about Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which turned out to be far more divisive films than DC was hoping for. And with Justice League now flirting with the prospect of being the DCEU's first box office failure, it's pretty easy to see the parallels between Vaughn's time with the X-Men and where the DC films currently sit.
Despite the unqualified triumph of Wonder Woman, the DCEU's future is up in the air. Upcoming solo films like Aquaman and Shazam will go a long way toward indicating whether or not the shared universe can survive in its current form. Even if those films are successful, bringing in top tier talent like Vaughn is what it's going to take for DC to seem like something other than the cinematic little brother to the world conquering MCU.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020