Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman. Chances are, in the last eight years, you’ve seen at least one of these films. They all have something in common, something — or, rather, someone — that is proving a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
Director Matthew Vaughn may only have five titles under his belt (including the four above), but he’s proven to be a stylish and fun leader in film already, and with several projects on the horizon (including a possible Flash Gordon remake which is discussed below), he’s the guy to watch right now.
Interestingly, you might notice there’s a familiar thread between all of Vaughn’s films — they’re adaptations. This might give people rise to believe that Vaughn is not an original director but, on the contrary, he has tackled each adaptation with creativity and confidence.
In 2007, he released Stardust, an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel by the same name. It’s charming, whimsical, and provides one of Robert de Niro’s funniest roles. The film is full of heart and nuance. It’s one of my favorite movies, and though I saw it after his next two films, it was the one that solidified me as a fan.
Three years later, Kick-Ass came out and people loved it; Vaughn had officially put his name on the map. The movie is based on an Icon comic by Mark Millar, characterized by its violence, humor, and absurd version of reality.
Next up was his take on the X-Men with 2011’s X-Men: First Class. As an origin story for Marvel’s mutants, it was refreshing, plenty of fun, and gave the franchise a much-needed change of pace.
Just recently, he continued his trend of adapting comics with Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on another Mark Millar comic (The Secret Service). It’s like a Quentin Tarantino style James Bond film and very meta, with impressive turns by Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, and newcomer Taron Egerton.
So what’s next for the promising director? Sequels and remakes!
At the beginning of the month, Vaughn confirmed Kingsman 2:
“The good news is I’m writing it next door at the moment, and if I think I can get the script good enough, then we’ll make it. Stay tuned, but we’re doing our damndest to make that happen.”
A few days ago, he also said that he and his team are working on a prequel for Kick-Ass, centering around Big Daddy and Hit Girl’s origin story. Some fans weren’t pleased with Kick-Ass 2 (which Vaughn didn’t direct), and he says he hopes this prequel will be a “sorbet” for those fans.
Lastly, Vaughn might bring his individual style to a rebooted Flash Gordon.
He’s in talks with Fox to helm the project based on a comic strip from 1934. It’s best remembered by the 1980 campy film, but Vaughn would certainly do something far different with the material. J.D. Payne and Patrick McCay are penning the script and if it does well, there’s a chance we could see a whole movie universe, culminating in Defenders of the Earth.
I can’t wait to see what Vaughn does in the future. He’s easily become a favorite director of mine and I always look forward to his new projects.
What are your favorite Matthew Vaughn films? Are you looking forward to these sequels, prequels, and a Flash Gordon reboot? Share your thoughts in the comments!