Director Has Departed Marvel Franchise Following Studio Executives’ Dirty Tactics

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Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and the Deadpool 2 poster

Credit: Inside the Magic

Kevin Feige has served as the President of Marvel Studios for many years at this point. In this role, he has overseen the development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) within The Walt Disney Company. This cinematic universe, inspired by Marvel Comics’ superhero franchise (originally Marvel Entertainment), has exerted a substantial and enduring impact on the superhero film genre and the film industry as a whole. Properties such as the Avengers have undeniably left a lasting legacy, despite differing opinions on the subject.

Kevin Feige with the Avengers in the background
Credit: Inside the Magic

The extensive narrative called the Infinity Saga came to a magnificent conclusion with the remarkable releases of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), marking the end of Phase Three in the MCU.

Endgame itself left no room for doubt about the departure of two of Marvel’s most beloved heroes. Marvel Studios made it abundantly clear which characters would not be making appearances in future films. This included Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man/Tony Stark, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good, and Chris Evans’ portrayal of Captain America/Steve Rogers, who retired after passing on his iconic Vibranium shield.

The Avengers original lineup featuring Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and Nick Fury
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Reports Confirm Upcoming Marvel Movie Will Center Around ‘X-Men’

Presently, a distinct opportunity has emerged for fresh superhero teams like the Fantastic Four and X-Men to step into the limelight. The Multiverse Saga has already kicked off the introduction of a variety of new fan-favorite characters by extending the MCU into the realm of television. Disney+ (Disney plus) Originals such as WandaVision (2021) and Loki (2021) have delved deeper into the stories of movie characters, broadening their narratives.

Charles Xavier with Beast and Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Now, ex-Marvel and X-Men director Matthew Vaughn is opening up about the not-so-sparkly interior of the Hollywood machine.

Marvel’s X-Men Franchise

The Fox X-Men movie series is now canon to the MCU following Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) brought Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier into the current Marvel universe.

 

The X-Men franchise from the 2000s began by drawing inspiration from Marvel Comics, depicting the adventures of Mutants possessing extraordinary abilities coexisting with humans in modern society. At its core, the series centered on the differing perspectives of Professor X and Magneto regarding the delicate equilibrium between Mutants and Humans. This ideological divide gave rise to conflicting belief systems, prompting other Mutants to align themselves with either of these two factions.

The X-Men franchise under 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) consists of several key films, including X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Wolverine (2013), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Deadpool (2016), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Logan (2017), Deadpool 2 (2018), and Dark Phoenix (2019).

Hugh Jackman stands in front of various X-Men
Credit: Inside the Magic

Key figures entangled in these dynamics included Patrick Stewart, who portrayed Professor X/Charles Xavier, Ian McKellen as Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr, Halle Berry in the role of Ororo Munroe/Storm, Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey, James Marsden as Scott Summers/Cyclops, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique/Raven Darkholme, Alan Cumming as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler, and Anna Paquin as Anna Marie LeBeau, commonly known as Rogue, alongside numerous others. Subsequent films such as X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse explored prequel storylines and delved into themes of time travel, introducing younger versions of characters like Professor Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique, portrayed by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively.

The Truth Behind Marvel’s Dirty Tactics

James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' (2014)
Credit: 20th Century Fox Studios

Related: Hugh Jackman’s Plan To Be In “Better Shape Than Ever” For Wolverine In ‘Deadpool 3’

Recently, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, former X-Men: The Last Stand (also X3: The Last Stand, or X-Men 3) director Matthew Vaughn has dropped some seriously shocking information.

X-Men cast
Credit: Marvel Studios / 20th Century Studios

Vaughn candidly discussed his encounters in Hollywood, even taking shots at the Hollywood system and the politics of the industry. Within this context, he shared many insights about his tenure in the X-Men franchise, notably revealing one of the key factors behind his decision to depart from the director’s chair:

I went into one of the executives’ office and I saw an X3 script, and I immediately knew it was a lot fatter. I was like, ‘What the hell is this draft?’ He went, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m the director. I’m worrying about this draft. He wouldn’t tell me, so I grabbed it literally — it was like a crazy moment — opened the first page, and it said, ‘Africa. Storm. Kids dying of no water. She creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children.’

Vaughn says that he quite liked this initial idea, thinking it “pretty cool” — however, when he discovered the planned changes to the script, his connection with the project deteriorated. The shocking revelation that the initial contract given to actors was a false one designed to get them onboard before a bad faith bait-and-switch got him to pull the trigger with the movie:

[I went,] ‘What is this?’ [They said,] ‘Oh, it’s Halle Berry’s script. I went, ‘OK, because she hasn’t signed up yet.’ ‘But this is what she wants it to be, and once she signs up, we’ll throw it in the bin. I was like, ‘Wow, you’re going to do that to an Oscar-winning actress who plays Storm? I’m out of here.’ So I quit at that point”

X-Men Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Mystique, Nightcrawler
Credit: Marvel Studios

Naturally, fans were outraged and shocked at this news.

User @Jac5Connor shared their opinion of the situation, replying to the new information and reminding everyone that “corporations will do anything to make a buck”:

Discussing Film: Matthew Vaughn quit directing ‘X-MEN: THE LAST STAND’ after execs wrote a scene to trick Halle Berry into signing on.

“It said, ‘Africa. Storm. Kids dying of no water. She creates a thunderstorm and saves all these children…’ I went, ‘What is this?’ [They said,] ‘Oh, it’s Halle Berry’s script.

I went, ‘OK, because she hasn’t signed up yet.’ [The execs said] ‘but this is what she wants it to be, and once she signs up, we’ll throw it in the bin.”

(Source: https://hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/matthew-vaughn-kick-ass-reboot-argylle-author-x-men-nycc-1235618721/)

@Jac5Connor: Reminder: corporations will do anything to make a buck, including lying to you about making you a superhero who saves kids in Africa.

This news is perhaps a shocking reveal as to how Hollywood operates. However, like @Jac5Connor said, some might find this almost par-for-the-course at this point.

Do you think it was right director Matthew Vaugn to walk away? Are you shocked by this news? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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