Matthew Vaughn talks about why he left the X-men franchise and his plans to cast Tom Hardy as a younger Wolverine

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Before making a name for himself with The Kingsman movies, director Matthew Vaughn proved that he could direct an entertaining comic book movie through his work on X-Men: First Class which took Charles Xavier and Magneto back to the years of their youth and the cold war-era – before they began their famous rivalry against one another.

The film was also responsible for reviving the franchise after the much-maligned X-Men: The Last Stand allowing it to focus on a new, more exciting cast to take things forward. However, while that happened it wasn’t the initial plan for the characters as Vaughn had intended on making a follow-up sequel to First class before the big events of Days of Future Past joined the two sides of the franchise together and allowed for a reset of sorts in the narrative.

This obviously never materialised as there was no follow-up sequel and Bryan Singer returned to director Days of Future Past. Thanks to a new interview with Coming Soon, we now also understand a little more behind Vaughn’s big ideas for the franchise and why he ultimately ended up leaving it when the studio didn’t like his ideas for the movie:

That’s one of the reasons I didn’t continue because they didn’t listen to me. My plan was First Class, then the second film was new young Wolverine in the ’70s to continue those characters, my version of the X-Men. So you’d really get to know all of them, and my finale was gonna be Days of Future Past. That was gonna be my number three where you bring them all… because what’s bigger than bringing in McKellen and Michael and Stewart and James and bringing them all together?

When I finished the Days of Future Past script with it ready to go I looked at it and said, ‘I really think it would be fun to cast Tom Hardy or someone as the young Wolverine and then bring it all together at the end.’ Fox read Days of Future Past and went ‘Oh, this is too good! We’re doing it now!’ And I said, ‘Well what do you do next? Trust me you’ve got nowhere to go.’ Then they did Apocalypse and it’s like… If you flip that ’round even it would have been better. Hollywood doesn’t understand pacing. Their executives are driving 100 miles-per-hour looking in the rear-view mirror and not understanding why they crash.

I guess, at the end of the day you could say Vaughn was vindicated with X-Men: Apocalypse turning out to be a big failure for the studio.  I certainly would’ve loved to see another X-Men: First Class and allow audiences to get to know these characters more before bringing back the original cast, so he has a point here. I do however find his idea to bring Tom Hardy in as a younger Wolverine a little unusual, especially considering Hugh Jackman made a cameo in First class as the character as Wolverine and in his own Origins film that goes even further back in the timeline. Perhaps it was Vaughn’s way of trying to pretend that movie never existed.

Fox’s version of the X-Men has one last chance to redeem itself this coming weekend with Dark Phoenix before we can finally put this X-Men Universe to rest and look forward to seeing what Marvel Studios can do with the characters.

Last Updated: June 3, 2019

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