The King’s Man’s Matthew Vaughn Shares Candid Thoughts On The Direction Of The DC Extended Universe After Man Of Steel

Superman flying in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Over the last eight years, the DC Extended Universe has inspired quite a lot of divisive opinions. The franchise was controversial from the get-go, with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel ending with Henry Cavill's Superman snapping the neck of Michael Shannon's Zod, and the discourse hasn't only heightened since then. This includes not only conversation among fans, but also filmmakers, like veteran comic book movie director Matthew Vaughn.

There has been chatter for years about Matthew Vaughn possibly directing the next Superman movie, and in addition to noting his continued interest in doing that during a recent interview with The Wrap, he also shared some candid opinions about what the DC Extended Universe did with the superhero in the aftermath of Man of Steel. Specifically, he doesn't love that the next move for the character on the big screen was to have him cross paths with Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

In the interview, Matthew Vaughn talks about having previously been "desperate" to make his own version of a Superman for the big screen – putting emphasis on the idea that it would be a "colorful, fun Superman movie. Not a dark one." It was this line of thought that seemingly led him to discuss the path that was taken by Zack Snyder in the construction of the DC Extended Universe. Said Vaughn of Batman v Superman,

I just thought it was a mistake putting the Batman vibe into the Superman world. I just think they’re two separate — they’re just not relatable in any way, in my mind. It should be fun.

Obviously Batman and Superman have "physically" long existed in the same world, as they first teamed up in World's Finest Comics #71 back in 1954 – but that's not the point that Matthew Vaughn is making. The two characters have specific and opposing tones that the DC Extended Universe never let develop independently, and putting them together in the second film of the franchise caused the "vibes" to clash. And as anyone who has seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice can attest, the darkness of the Caped Crusader very much envelopes the light of the Man of Tomorrow in that blockbuster.

Matthew Vaughn just recently had the opportunity to work with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill on the upcoming spy thriller Argylle, but he also admitted to the trade that his favored version of Superman on the big screen is the one played by Christopher Reeve in Richard Donner's classic Superman: The Movie. What's more, he notes the oddness that the spirit of that 1978 film is present in the DCEU, but it's in Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman rather than any of the titles featuring the last son of Krypton. Said the filmmaker,

I mean, look, The Dark Knight was obviously different, and it made sense and it was brilliant, as a film and as a comic. But Superman was always… I loved the [Richard] Donner Superman movie, and I think Wonder Woman worked because, I think, Wonder Woman was basically remaking [Donner’s] Superman in a weird way. Yeah, I love Superman.

As of right now we don't know what the future actually holds for Henry Cavill's Superman, and it's unclear if he will ever get the opportunity to star in a brighter, more hope-filled solo film like the one that Matthew Vaughn describes. The project that seems to have the most steam right now is a film being developed by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams – a project that will reportedly feature a Black actor in the lead role. 

We haven't heard about developments for a few months know, but you can keep track of it and everything else in the DC Films pipeline by checking out our Upcoming DC Movies guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.