When X-Men: First Class came out, it did a lot of reignite the appetite of the franchise's fans. After X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, people had started to lose faith in the series. When Matthew Vaughn stepped in to direct, with Bryan Singer serving as a "Godfather" producer returning to the series he helped launch, there was a spark of promise for the fans. That promise lead to a film that was very well-received and, effectively, revived the cinematic X-Men.
Considering First Class was a soft reboot, many expected Vaughn to direct its follow-up to continue to move the pieces in a new direction. That was the plan. He was preparing for X-Men: Days of Future Past when, suddenly, news broke that he had stepped away from the project. Why the change of heart? Why step away from a film that was sure to be huge?
Vaughn has now explained his decision in a recent interview with IGN:
"It started in a pub with Mark, and we were drunk. We sort of were complaining about how spy movies had become really quite serious. We said, ‘Let's do a fun [one].’ … Mark went off and wrote a version, and I read it. I was like, ‘F#@k, maybe we should do this for real.’ Then he went ahead, finished the comic off. Then I was working on Days of Future Past, and I'd finished the treatment. Then the [Kingsman] script fell out of me -- just one of those things. I remember Fox going, ‘What are you talking about?’ because the two scripts came in at the same time. I was like, ‘Aw, s#!t.’ It was a really tough decision whether to do Days of Future Past or do this. But then I was like, ‘F#@k, somebody else is going to wake up and do a fun spy movie. Then I will have written a bloody screenplay that no one will want to make.’ So I probably made the craziest decision of my life to turn down an $800 million gorilla to do Kingsman. But Kingsman's more me anyway."
There you have it. Looks like this decision was a win-win-win for all involved: Singer, Vaughn, and the fans. Singer got to prove that he can deliver on a sci-fi action epic, Vaughn got to make the spy film he wanted, and we- the fans- are treated to two good movies. The early buzz on Kingsman: The Secret Service is quite positive.