‘Argylle’ Director Matthew Vaughn Reveals Details About His Rejected Superman Trilogy Pitch, Praises Richard Donner

Superman (Henry Cavill) watches as Zod (Michael Shannon) escapes in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

Before Zack Snyder and the Snyderverse, there was a point where the 2010s could have looked a lot different for the Man of Steel. There were a few other pitches for Superman at the time. But, the one that stands out prominently now is by X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn and comic writer Mark Millar.

A purposeless General Zod (Michael Shannon) still has some fight left in him in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Vaughn revealed to Happy Sad Confused that he and Millar wrote a pitch for a trilogy that had some interesting ideas. The main thing – which we reported a few years ago – was Krypton would not have blown up until Clark entered adulthood. He would’ve been able to grow up on Krypton and discover Earth, learning to have the best of both worlds — literally.

Sadly, though, Jor-El was still right about the fate of Krypton; his timing was just off by several years, Vaughn explained. As the cataclysm happens, there is a “mass exodus and then all hell breaks loose,” he added. Villains in mind operating amidst the chaos on Krypton included the usual suspects of Zod and Brainiac.

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Lex Luthor was yet again going to be in the mix too, on Earth before Armageddon, so he’d be allowed adequate time to become a thorn in Superman’s side. This all sounds like standard fare for the DCEU, minus Krypton being around, but Vaughn didn’t envision a dark dystopian landscape; wanting instead to stay in the same lane as Richard Donner.

Vaughn believes what most everyone into comics does, that the 1978 Superman film’s director “did it perfectly,” and he wanted to match that tone. Our earlier report noted Vaughn prefers a Big Blue hero who is massively more uplifting and hopeful — much like Henry Cavill. “Superman is about color and fun, or it should be,” Vaughn once said to MTV.

Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) is taken into custody in Superman: The Movie (1978), Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s a shame Warner decided not to go with Vaughn and Millar’s take when it may have been a clearer vision than the dark, dank DCEU that diverged in so many disparate directions guided by a rotating crop of executives. Of the Snyderverse films, the one that worked best for Vaughn was Wonder Woman, which reminded him of Donner’s efforts.

NEXT: Matthew Vaughn and Mark Millar Provide Details on Their Planned Superman Trilogy