Matthew Vaughn revealed a Kick-Ass reboot in the works, addressed challenges around working in the X-Men universe, and teased his upcoming spy thriller Argylle during his Saturday evening panel at New York Comic Con.
Vaughn appeared to talk about his library of work during the 45-minute panel, which ultimately dived into his experiences on several projects he did — and didn’t — direct. The discussion was also full of project updates, including that he is working on a musical, will return to Kingsman 3 next year and has a new Kick-Ass with different characters in the works.
“Kick-Ass sort of changed people’s perception of what a superhero film is at that time. So we’ll be doing it again. So it’s none of the characters from the other Kick-Ass,” he said. “We’d like to bring them back after the reboot. This reboot is just going off on a tangent that I can’t really talk about now. But it’s fun.”
Vaughn later spoke about and previewed a clip of Argylle, his upcoming spy thriller starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Dua Lipa and more, at one point calling the process of breaking it a little “odd.”
“It was an odd time because when the book of Argylle arrived [as] manuscripts — there’s all this weird shit online saying it’s not real. It’s a real book — but I couldn’t get book one,” he recalled. “Breaking new IP, not many people will be bothered but the studios are sort of learning now, that maybe you guys, the audience, do want original films.”
He also shared that the trailer only features footage from the movie’s first 28 minutes, and that “even what you see in the film isn’t quite the same as in the trailer.”
“We wanted to do something very meta because you can’t just make gems from stone. You have to do things differently,” he said. “I just loved the idea of what would happen if a wizard went to J.K. Rowling in book three and said, ‘You know what? Wizards are real. Hogwarts is real. I’m real. I’m going to show you what it’s really like,’ and going on an adventure.”
“We thought we’ll do that with spies,” he continued while describing the film. “So Elly Conway, I think, in real life will become a J.K. Rowling of spy movies, of spy novels.”
Attempts to discuss the book with the author also went unanswered, raising questions around whether the author or book were real. During the panel, Vaughn addressed the mystery around the title, revealing its cover and giving away 100 advance uncorrected copies during the panel.
While discussing his work on the original Kick-Ass film, Vaughn revealed he “literally bet the house” on the film, taking out a mortgage to help finance it. He still failed to find distributors initially, with clips of the film at San Diego Comic-Con being the ultimate reason the film was released.
“It was scary because then we couldn’t get any distribution was finished because my agent at the time said, you know, it’s not really intelligent if everybody in Hollywood says no, don’t go make it because that doesn’t mean they’re gonna buy it,” Vaughn recalled. “Thank God for Hall H, because we showed the movie, or they showed clips of the movie, after Avatar — so I really thought it was a screw. The fans went so crazy that the sheep of Hollywood decided that maybe there was something in here that the fans might like. So they went for it.”
He spoke openly about his experiences in Hollywood, frequently throwing jabs at the machine and industry politics. He had a lot to say about his time in the X-Men universe, including one of the major reasons he decided to walk away from the job.
“I went into one of the executive’s office and I saw an X3 script, and I immediately knew it was a lot fatter. I was like what the hell is this draft. He went, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m the director. I’m worrying about this draft,’” he recalled. “He wouldn’t tell me, so I grabbed it literally — it was like a crazy moment — opened the first page, and it said, ‘Africa. Storm. Kids dying of no water. She creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children.’”
Vaughn admitted he found it a “pretty cool idea,” but once he learned what was going to happen to the script, his relationship to the project soured. “[I went,] ‘What is this?’ [They said,] ‘Oh, it’s Halle Berry’s script. I went, ‘OK, because she hasn’t signed up yet.’ ‘But this is what she wants it to be, and once she signs up, we’ll throw it in the bin,’” the director said, recounting the executive’s response. “I was like, ‘Wow, you’re gonna do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm? I’m outta here.’ So I quit at that point.”