Mark Millar on the Matthew Vaughn Superman Trilogy That Wasn’t

Over the years, director Matthew Vaughn has made several prominent comic book movies (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) and has turned down or dropped out of almost as many (Thor, X-Men: The Last StandX-Men: Days of Future Past). Now, his frequent collaborator Mark Millar has broken his silence to the El Fanboy Podcast (via JoBlo) about the much-rumored Matthew Vaughn Superman trilogy he and the filmmaker pitched to Warner Bros. way back in 2008.

“It was actually a massive, uplifting, hopeful thing,” Millar confirmed of their scrapped trilogy. “There’s no point doing Superman unless you feel good. You should walk out of ‘Superman’ just feeling like a million dollars. You should feel great after a Superman film. The movie itself was going to be a big, vast fun epic. But Superman’s got to be a laugh, as well.”

Millar also confirmed the long-standing rumors that Matthew Vaughn was being courted to direct Man of Steel 2, although his interest in the project seems to have faded as he’s attached himself to the spy thriller I Am Pilgrim as well as a third Kingsman outing.

“He and I are massive Superman fans,” Millar explained. “I mean, we worship Richard Donner. We love the Christopher Reeve movies. He actually phoned me up a few months ago, and he said, ‘Hey, listen, DC, they’re very interested in me doing Man of Steel 2. Do you want to come in and do this?’ And I was like, ‘I’m exclusive to Netflix for years. We can’t even have that conversation.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, man. What’s the chances of this?’ And then he kind of drifted away. And he’s attached himself to a couple of things and all that. Y’know so, it’s one of those things that might, I mean – if somebody phones Matthew up and offers him enough money it could all change tomorrow.”

Vaughn was also reportedly under consideration to helm the DCEU game changer Flashpoint, which will potentially work as a soft reset of the DC films via time travel and multiverse plot points. However, at last reporting Robert Zemeckis remains the frontrunner to helm the film, which will feature Ezra Miller’s Flash, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. So far, Cavill has not been mentioned to appear in Flashpoint, so since he only has one more film in his DC contract, it stands to reason the studio is holding out to use him in a proper Man of Steel 2.

Filmmaker Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel debuted in theaters in 2013 with Henry Cavill as the titular hero and went on to gross over $668 million at the worldwide box office, though many viewers criticized its dour tone, massive destruction and Superman murdering the film’s main villain. Cavill reprised his role in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which earned over $873 million at the box office but was critically pummeled for returning director Snyder’s grim view of both title heroes. Cavill’s Kryptonian returned from the grave as the Snyder trilogy rounded out in this past November’s Justice League, but despite reshoots from writer/director Joss Whedon that made the character a more traditionally upbeat, heroic Superman, the film was still criticized for its truncated/uneven tone, stale villain and the poor CGI removal of Cavill’s mustache that made him look like a Clutch Cargo character.