Before the DC Universe launched by Zack Snyder, Matthew Vaughn (Kick ass, king man, for argy) imagined a trilogy Superman with excessive ambition.
“It would be an interesting movie…” When BroBible talks to him about Superman: Red SonBritish director Matthew Vaughn has a hard time hiding his enthusiasm. He already contributed greatly to the conquest of superheroes in the 2010s. In 2006 he abandoned the chaotic production of X-Men 3. Precisely in 2010 he realized Kick ass, a comedy that already ridiculed the genre. Finally, in 2011, he took revenge with X-Men: The Beginningwhich began a new era for mutants in cinema.
But he always wanted to make Superman fly. And what’s more, Hollywood has twice given her the opportunity to dream about red underwear. A look back at ambitious franchise projects, before and after Iron Man them Zack Snyder.
Superman turns around
In 2006, almost 20 years after the supernano superman 4that put the franchise in a coma, Warner wants to produce a new Superman. The Man of Steel has been trying in vain to return for years, especially in a version supervised by Tim Burton that has caused a lot of ink to flow (and that will cause a lot of blood in 2023). But in the early 2000s, men in tights became popular again, and the studio did not hesitate to hire one of the men who brought back the image of him, Bryan Singer, who actually left the production of X-Men: The Last Stand.
While designing this homage to Richard Donner’s film titled Superman returnsIt is Matthew Vaughn who succeeds him at the head of the third X Men. But very quickly, unsustainable deadlines and the prospect of moving away from his family convinced the director to pack his bags too. A risky decision for his still budding career, but that could be strategic given the disappointing score of Returns au box office : just over 400 million dollars in revenue for a huge budget of 270 million.
From then on, Warner’s goal is no longer to start a sequel, but to restart the saga. Several proposals are proposed, in particular from comics authors not very satisfied with the previous part, such as Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, according to mtv. Another author tries his luck: Mark Millar, whose Sought has just been adapted to film. He teams up with a director, whose identity he refuses to reveal.
He says geek’s den in July 2008: « Ce réalisateur m’a téléphone il ya un mois et m’a dit: “Écoute, je n’ai absolument pas l’autorisation de Warner, parce que Warner ne cherche personne en particulier, mais je veux avoir toutes les cartes en main, in case of.” He told me, “I want to completely relaunch the Superman franchise. I know you’re passionate about it and the hype around Wanted is great.” I think it was the weekend before Wanted came out. »
Much later, Vaughn will admit, at the microphone of Happy Sad Confusedfor example, who was this director, who came to revisit the genre after X Men. A logical association, since the two artists will realize, just a few years later, Kick ass, taken from a comic by Millar. Although highly fantasized, the project remained within the idea of tone: « “We proposed how to make a trilogy of Superman movies.” says the director. « Warner said they weren’t interested. He didn’t go any further. »
It must be said that this speech is especially ambitious. It is, in effect, an eight-hour trilogy, designed like that of the Lord of the Ringswhich covers all the adventures of the superhero, from his birth to the moment when he remains the last living being on Earth. « “I would have made a modern version of Donner’s film.” Vaughn says, still in front of the microphone. Happy Sad Confused. « Our big idea was that Krypton wouldn’t explode right away. The father was right, except about the timing. Then when Superman grows up, suddenly there’s a mass exodus and everything goes to hell. »
As for villains, he must face Zod, Brainiac and Lex Luthor, three of the most iconic antagonists in the universe. Superman. « Lex Luthor is the main villain until Krypton explodes and then everyone else arrives. » To play Kal-El, they thought of Charlie Cox, at that time fresh out of the Stardust, the mystery of the stardirected by Vaughn, and the future Daredevil. « (Matthew Vaughn) said, “He seems nice” and “I know he’s not tall and Superman is still tall” – Charlie is only 5’5 or a little taller – “He looks a little like Golden Age Superman, when “He seemed more like a normal person.” Millar details in The Kryptonian Wannabe.
A version that, therefore, did not go beyond the proposal phase presented to Warner directors. Millar himself makes it clear that he never wrote anything and that he never really clarified his ideas to his friend. It is certain that the scale of such a fresco, as well as its faithful approach to Donner, left the firm’s leaders in marble after the failure of Returns. However, his vision allowed the filmmaker to remain in small studio roles.
In March 2017, when the DCEU was still standing, a source of Collider I affirm thatwas Warner’s first choice to direct man of steel 2 and that discussions had taken place on this topic. Ironic. A little burned by the direction of Kick-Ass 2, which he didn’t direct, but which he produced, he would have liked reinvesting elements of his trilogy in this sequel.
More than a year later, he announced Polygon that was not going “officially” It does not happen. The chaos that gradually took over this cinematic Krypton probably caught up with the project. Then Vaughn continued flirting with Superman. Maybe the new DC Universe curated by James Gunn and Peter Safran will have a place for him. In any case, he doesn’t say no: « Never say Never “said in the interview with BroBible. « Never two without three »we would be tempted to add.
Your schedule may become clearer recently. In early 2023, his Argylle had a very poor start at the box office (to the point of being defeated by The Hot Spot in France). A hard blow for the filmmaker who also had planned… a trilogy. When he doesn’t want to…