By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
We’ve already heard that Mad Max director George Miller would take a crack at directing Man of Steel 2, but he’s not the only one. For nearly a year now, the latest name for the director’s chair has been Kingsman writer-director Matthew Vaughn. Could Superman work being even more violent, as long as it was hilariously nuts?
The news that Vaughn’s name was still in the mix came down from AICN. Kickass Comic Book writer Mark Millar recently said in an interview that Vaughn called him to check what his availability was for a Man of Steel sequel.
“[Vaughn] actually phoned me up a few months ago, and said, ‘Hey, listen, DC, they’re very interested in me doing Man of Steel 2,” Millar told the ElFanboy podcast. “Do you want to come in and do this?” Millar had to break the news to Vaughn that he was in an exclusive deal with Netflix, so it couldn’t happen. Millar went on to say that while Vaughn lamented the bad timing, he was still talking to the Water Tower about what a Super Man sequel would look like in the post Zack Snyder era.
It may be that Vaughn’s wacky kind of action is just what the doctor ordered for Metropolis. Both Kickass and Kingsman have enjoyed great theatrical runs, which could give the DCEU a much needed boost to set up the next phase. There’s a problem though. The Kickass and Kingman franchises are incredibly violent, and the very idea of Superman literally flies in the face of that (Superman being too violent is a major criticism of the Snyder vision).
Dark works with Batman, with Superman you want something lighter, that makes you feel good at the end. “It was actually a massive, uplifting, hopeful thing,” said Millar. “You should walk out of ‘Superman’ just feeling like a million dollars. Superman’s got to be a laugh, as well.”
Vaughn echoed that sentiment in an interview with Collider last Spring. “I think that’s the one thing not to do with Superman, trying to do the serious The Dark Knight version. Superman is about color and fun, or it should be, for me.” Vaughn has also said that he believes audiences are ready to move on from the dark, Nolan-esque vibe of comic book movies. “I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it,” Vaughn said to SFX. “People want fun and escapism at the moment. Look at the success of Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Though he didn’t reference Man of Steel 2 directly, Vaughn recently told IGN that when a franchise is struggling, it’s a great time to take the helm because expectations are lower. “It’s more fun getting involved with franchises when they’re on the down, because then it’s easier to make a good film,” Vaughn said. “If I got involved with a few of the superhero movies out there that have been disappointing, it’ll probably be better.”
Vaughn may have a point. While Wonder Woman was the shining moment in DC’s 2017 film slate, overall the DCEU has underperformed, and even bringing in Joss Whedon to pinch hit for Snyder on Justice League didn’t turn things around as had hoped. So, could a complete reworking of the concept back to Superman being a campy, feel good kind of super hero do the trick?
I don’t know if you’d be able to keep the current Last Son of Krypton, Henry Cavill, with such a radical shift in direction. Cavill can do lighter, as proven by The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but the violent, adult nature of Vaughn’s humor may be a bridge too far for the feel good, boy scout vibe of the what everyone wishes Supes would return to.
Here’s an idea. How about seeing what James Gunn is doing after Guardians Vol. 3?