With ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ about to ramp up the insanity of the first ‘Kingsman,’ Andrew Rivera takes a look at the careers of Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn, the minds behind the mayhem.
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Kingsman: The Secret Service was an adrenaline fueled update of the classic spy movie. But did you know that Kingsman was actually a Kingsman comic before it was a Kingsman movie? The Secret Service comic was the brainchild of Mark Millar, a Scottish comic book writer famous for his work on The Ultimates, Marvel Civil War, Old Man Logan, and much more. Mark Millar wasn’t satisfied with only writing for Marvel, so he branched out into his own creator-owned comic book universe called ‘Millarworld,’ which is where the Kingsman comic was published. But Mark Millar, comic writer, is only part of the equation that brought Kingsmen The Secret Service to the screen. There wouldn’t be a Kingsman 2 movie, or Kingsmen movie in the first place, without Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn. Because while Mark Millar was busy writing comics in England, English director Matthew Vaughn was beginning his own cinematic career.
Matthew Vaughn, director, didn’t exist when his uncle hooked him up with Guy Ritchie. The director was looking for an investor in his debut film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and Matthew Vaughn knew a good idea when he saw it. Matthew Vaughn produced Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Swept Away before he decided to step into the world of directing himself. But he didn’t start with the Kingsman movie, his first film was Layer Cake. Matthew Vaughn wanted to make a stylish crime movie in the vein of Heat, and thanks to the charisma of star and future James Bond Daniel Craig, his directing career was off to a rocket start. He almost directed the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand. Unfortunately, he had to back out and leave the project in the hands of director Brett Ratner. There would eventually be an X-Men movie directed by Matthew Vaughn called X-Men: First Class, starring his future romantic interest Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew Vaughn made an awesome X-Men movie, but he had some superhero experience thanks to his previous collaboration with Mark Millar; Kick-Ass.
Mark Millar’s Millarworld comics were proving to be perfectly suited for movie adaptations, like the Wanted movie based on his comic. Most studios didn’t even wait for the book to be released before buying the rights, and when Mark Millar got to pitch his idea for a real life superhero comic called Kick Ass, Matthew Vaughn was on board. He developed the Kick Ass movie at the same time as the Kick Ass comic, and even though the Kick-Ass movie and Kick-Ass comic turned out very differently, the spirit was the same and the two enjoyed working with each other. So much so that, after the adventures of Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, the two collaborated on a fun spy movie they called Kingsman. Kingsman: The Secret Service introduced the world to the world of Kingsman. Harry Hart is the super-suave James Bond analogue, played by Colin Firth. Kingsman was also home to Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, and rounding out the case of Kingsman was Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella, Samuel L. Jackson, and even Mark Hamill. In the Kingsman 2 movie, Kingsman the Golden Circle, the gang is invading America with an even bigger cast of Hollywood A-listers to join Kingsman. Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and even Sir Elton John are all ready for the kinetic craziness of the Kingsmen 2 movie, and if the first Kingsman movie and the careers of Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn are any indication, the movie is going to be off the rails.
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