Matthew Vaughn Pitched a ‘Superman’ Trilogy That Warner Bros. Rejected

Kingsman: The Secret Circle and X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn pitched a Superman trilogy that Warner Bros. rejected.

Variety reports how Vaughn appeared on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast and discussed the Superman trilogy he and comic book writer Mark Millar pitched to Warner Bros. before Zack Snyder's Man of Steel kick-started the DCEU. “Mark and I sat down and plotted out a three-film trilogy, pitched it to Warner Bros. before Man of Steel… we pitched how to do a trilogy of Superman movies and Warners said they weren’t interested,” says Vaughn. “That’s as far as it went.”

Vaughn says that his planned Superman trilogy evoked the same tone as Richard Donner's 1978 movie Superman starring Christopher Reeve. “I think Donner nailed it,” says Vaughn. “Wonder Woman worked very well because it was basically a Donner/Superman film but reimagined as Wonder Woman. I would’ve done a modern version of Donner. Our big idea was that Krypton doesn’t blow up. It does eventually. The dad was right, but he got his timing wrong. When Superman is grown up, suddenly there’s a mass exodus and all h— breaks loose. That was our main idea.”

Matthew Vaughn Suggests Casting Taron Egerton as Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy

Superman Lex Luthor
Image Credit: Warner Bros.; Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Vaughn directed films such as Layer Cake, Stardust, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and The King's Man. He says that Taron Egerton, who played young spy Gary “Eggsy” Unwin in two Kingsman movies, is an excellent candidate to play Lex Luthor in James Gunn's Superman: Legacy starring David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan as Superman and Lois Lane, respectively.

Not unlike speculation about Daniel Radcliffe playing Wolverine, there are also rumors about Egerton playing the X-Men character with the adamantium claws. “[Egerton would] be better as Lex Luthor,” says Vaughn. “He’d be an amazing Luthor. He shouldn’t be Wolverine. I don’t think he’s right for it. You got to really go back to the comic. Hugh is brilliant as Wolverine, but I’d go back to the what the comics are… [he’s] small, grizzly, tough guy. Hugh has made it so iconic that if you go into that version… no. Taron would make an amazing, intelligent villain.”

Matthew Vaughn's next movie — the spy action-comedy Argylle starring former big-screen Man of Steel Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O'Hara, and Samuel L. Jackson — premieres on February 2, 2024.