X-Men Director Believes We No Longer Want Dark Superhero Movies

Ben Skipper

'X-Men: First Class' director Matthew Vaughn believes audiences are growing tired of superhero movies with the kind of darker tone popularised by Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' trilogy.

Speaking to SFX Magazine (via The Hollywood Reporter) while promoting his new film - violent spy spoof ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ - Vaughn cited the recent success of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ as a reason to believe fun, lighter superhero movies are now in vogue.

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"People want fun and escapism at the moment," he said. "Look at the success of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it."

It’s hard to argue given the success of ‘Guardians’. Even ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ with its political thriller persuasions retained the sense of fun Marvel Studios movies have had from the beginning.

In fact if there were a single film responsible for the shift of tone we’re now seeing in action, it is Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers Assemble’ which in 2012 packed in more laughs than (arguably) any superhero movie before it before becoming the third highest grossing movie of all time. 

Vaughn went on to discuss ‘Kingsmen’, describing it as a “love letter” to classic British spy movies - and not just James Bond.

"I was born in 1971, so they were very formative years for me growing up," he said. "I was inspired by all of it. ‘The Avengers’ [the Hulk-free Avengers that is], ‘Harry Palmer’, ‘The Prisoner’, ‘The Man from UNCLE’, ‘In Like Flint’…"

"Of course, there’s a huge shadow of Bond – Bond is the monolith of spy movies – but it’s not just about Bond. There were a lot of other things that influenced me."

'Kingsman: The Secret Service' will be released on 29 January.

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Picture credits: Warner Bros / Marvel Studios.