What Matthew Vaughn did for the X-Men franchise cannot be overstated. Coming off of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the series needed a fresh start. He offered that fresh start with X-Men: First Class, and then subsequently handed control back to Bryan Singer for Days of Future Past. But what would the series have looked like with Vaughn still in control? The director recently opened up while promoting Kingsman: The Golden Circle and explained that he would've focused more heavily on Wolverine and ended the latest trilogy on Days of Future Past instead. Vaughn said:
And on Days of Future Past, even though I co-wrote the bloody thing, the reason I bailed out of it is two things: First, I respect Bryan Singer hugely and X-Men is Bryan's world and I feel he let me play in his sandbox. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my sandbox. I wanted my own sandbox. And, second, I didn't want to do Days of Future Past next. I felt that one should be in a trilogy and Days of Future Past should be the finale of that story. I would have done a film in-between where you meet the young Wolverine and a new character, and then in Days of Future Past became the young Wolverine and the old Wolverine and just really blow it out.
That clearly would've been a very different direction for the X-Men series. The Days of Future Past storyline was already heavily changed to include far more Wolverine (Kitty Pryde goes back in time in the original story), but this version of the tale (per Matthew Vaghn's comments to Uproxx) would've focused on the young Wolverine (first met in First Class) whose body serves as the vessel for the older version of Logan. It's quite a bit different than what we got, but it arguably makes sense when we consider how much Days of Future Past already feels like a climax rather than the middle of a story.
In the end, it's hard to say whether or not this would've been better. Days of Future Past is widely regarded as a high point for the X-Men franchise, so doing something different could've been a gamble that might not have paid off.
Now that he has officially moved on from the X-Men films, Matthew Vaughn has been given several other sandboxes to play in. Kingsman: The Golden Circle will hit theaters this weekend on September 22, and there has already been talk that the filmmaker may even be in the running to tackle Man of Steel 2 when DC finally gets around to giving Superman a proper sequel. We may never see his take on the lead-up to Days of Future Past, but he has plenty of blockbuster stories left to tell.
What do you think of Matthew Vaughn's vision for the X-Men franchise? Give us your take in the comments below. Looking ahead to the future, the X-Men films will continue when New Mutants debuts in theaters on April 13, 2018. Deadpool 2 will follow on June 1, 2018, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix will round out the year when it premieres on November 2, 2018.