Matthew Vaughn attended a panel at New York Comic Con at the weekend, and he was just full of news. Kick-Ass is to be rebooted, and he plans to start work on a new Kingsman with Taron Egerton and Colin Firth returning. This was alongside promoting his upcoming spy thriller Argyll.
All very interesting, but the big news was him speaking about his past involvement with the X-Men franchise, particularly X-Men: The Last Stand. Vaughn came close to helming that third film before Bret Ratner was selected to eventually take the franchise forward.
At the time, Vaughn said it was because he didn’t have enough time to prep properly. Now that 20th Century Fox is no more, and part of Disney, with total changes in leadership from his time working for them, he clearly felt relaxed enough about things to tell the truth about why he really walked away from the project.
From his comments, it appears as if his biggest reason was that one of the suits involved was massively disrespectful to one of the stars, and maybe wasn’t being completely honest about aspects of their role.
“I went into one of the executive’s office and I saw an X3 script, and I immediately knew it was a lot fatter. I was like what the hell is this draft.
He went, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m the director. I’m worrying about this draft’. He wouldn’t tell me, so I grabbed it literally – it was like a crazy moment – opened the first page, and it said, ‘Africa. Storm. Kids dying of no water. She creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children.’”
The executive then allegedly came clean that this was in the script purely to tempt Halle Berry to sign back on for the third entry, and that this draft would be “thrown in the bin” once Berry signed. Vaughn says he thought:
“Wow, you’re gonna do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm? I’m outta here. So I quit at that point.”
Ratner replaced Vaughn and the rest is history. The movie performed OK at the box office, but was critically mauled and eventually led to a soft reboot in the form of X-Men: First Class, which Vaughn did direct.
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