Matthew Vaughn On ‘Kingsman,’ Prince, Superman, And Why He Didn’t Make Another X-Men Movie

Senior Entertainment Writer
09.19.17

Getty Image / 20th Century Fox

By this point, Matthew Vaughn has a large portfolio of films he was attached to, but never made. Looking back, it seems like a miracle that he actually got to make X-Men: First Class instead of it being collected into Vaughn’s ever-growing “what could have been” pile. He was supposed to make another X-Men film, but that didn’t happen (he explains why below) and he was even on the short list for what eventually became The Force Awakens. I wonder what Matthew Vaughn’s Star Wars movie would have looked like? I suspect there would have been more cussing. And now he’s in talks to direct Man of Steel 2, and we’ll just have to wait and see if this one actually happens or not. But Vaughn does seem particularly excited about the prospects (though, he admits he probably shouldn’t be openly talking about it with the press).

Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of the big surprises of 2015. A property that not many people were familiar with at the time went on to gross over $400 million worldwide. Jeff Bridges called it, “The best James Bond movie I’ve ever seen,” which convinced Bridges to jump on board for this sequel that sees the Kingsmen, facing their greatest threat yet (that threat played by “having the time of her life” Julianne Moore), having to team up with their American counterparts, the Statesmen – which includes the aforementioned Jeff Bridges, as well as Halle Berry and Channing Tatum.

Ahead, an always-frank Vaughn explains how he became the first director to get the rights to a Prince song (that’s not in a Prince movie or specifically written for that movie, like “Batdance.” ), plus why he’s upset at all the movies using John Denver when Vaughn thought he was doing something really original. He also tells us why he didn’t want to make Days of Future Past, primarily because he didn’t think it should have been the next movie. He had another idea for the next X-Men movie in mind…

Not that you’re looking for advice from strangers, but it would be great if you directed Man of Steel 2.

Well, if I do, I’ll be happy as well. It’s an honor to even have had a discussion. So, they’re probably freaking out that I’ve even mentioned it. But, yes, we’ll see. Who knows what will happen in my life, that’s for sure.

The opening scene uses Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” I can’t remember ever hearing a Prince song in a non-Prince movie before.

Prince is one of my all-time heroes. There’s not a single Prince note – he’s done a lot of notes – and I know them all. I’ve been obsessed with him since I was 12 or 13. And, weirdly, when we put Prince on, I was so desperate to use it and I got told it would never be cleared. Then, sadly, Prince died. And I was speaking to the people at Warner Bros. Records and they’re like, you know what, if we’re going to start licensing his music, what a way to begin. So I feel absolutely honored to be the first person to license a Prince track.

Oh, wow, so you are the first…

Yeah, I’m so honored I was allowed to do it and I hope he is up in his purple throne looking down at least appreciating the use of it. And I was lucky enough that they sent me all the tracks – the multi-tracks of the recording and I spent like five ours listening to everything. And, for me, it was heaven. And hearing Prince talk, “Okay, let’s redo that and turn this up,” it was amazing. I’m a huge Prince fan and I’m very sad that he died, too young. And what was also astonishing was the amount of kids who have seen the film who don’t know Prince and don’t know his music. And I just hope this will continue his legacy.

Speaking of music, John Denver’s music plays a big role in this film. We’ve had a lot of John Denver in movies this year.

Don’t wind me up. Fucking hell.

John Denver music was also in Alien: CovenantOkja, and Logan Lucky. Why is this happening?

I have no idea and I cannot believe it! I wrote John Denver into the script two and a half years ago thinking, “No one really talks about John Denver anymore.” Now I think we’re the sixth movie using John Denver! Look at the world, we are getting closer and closer to the singularity, whether we like it or not.

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