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The moment Matthew Vaughn bailed on the chance to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past, a sequel to the mutant reboot he started with X-Men: First Class, the rumor mill churned with theories that it was to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. We even ran a story this morning from longtime Vaughn collaborator Jason Flemyng (Kick-Ass) kind of confirming that rumor.
But now, Mark Millar – who recently accepted a creative post at Fox to help shepherd along several Marvel comic and graphic-novel adaptations – explains to Empire that Vaughn’s departure from the X-Men universe might have been for an entirely different reason. He says:
We had two high-end projects at the same time. We had the most ambitious X-Men yet, but at the same time we had The Secret Service (an adaptation of Millar's comic book, which Vaughn will direct), which we came up with ourselves. And some copycat projects were starting to get off the ground. If we didn't do it now, it would probably never get done. Matthew had a really difficult choice, and he had a lot of great ideas for X-Men, but Bryan (Singer) is back in the fold, and he's brilliant."
So what is The Secret Service? Millar put the book together with artist Dave Gibbons, focusing on a London rioter who is recruited for a special spy-training program. Those who’ve read the first few stories say that it could reinvent the 007-type thrillers they way Kick-Ass flipped the superhero genre on its head. And Millar has teased that he’d like to make Secret Service movies every couple of years.
But Vaughn’s on board to direct the first one, which likely means he’s out of the running for Star Wars. Until he’s confirmed for Star Wars later this week, because that’s the way this crazy rollercoaster ride of movie gossip and innuendo rolls.