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X-Men: First Class Director Matthew Vaughn Reveals Secret To Superhero Movies: “Make People Believe It”-TGN


  • Matthew Vaughn emphasizes the importance of grounding superhero movies in relatable human problems, as seen in X-Men: First Class’s use of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Vaughn criticizes the overreliance on CGI in superhero films, stating that it can make the viewing experience feel like watching a video game rather than connecting with the characters.
  • He hopes that both the DCU and MCU will go back to basics and focus on making fewer films that prioritize quality over quantity.



Matthew Vaughn, the director of X-Men: First Class, explains his approach to making superhero movies and how he hopes the DCU and MCU go back to basics with their future projects. Vaughn is one of the great action directors who created the world of Kingsman, which leans into the bombastic and ridiculous elements of the spy genre. He not only directed X-Men: First Class, he also helmed Kick-Ass.

Screen Rant spoke with Vaughn at New York Comic Con about his thoughts on the superhero genre. He explained the challenges of superhero movies and why he wanted X-Men: First Class grounded in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Vaughn also shared his hopes for the DCU under James Gunn and Peter Saffron, as well as Kevin Feige’s MCU. Check out Vaughn’s full quote below:

Matthew Vaughn: When you’re making a superhero movie, you sort of have to work harder because you’ve got to make people believe it. That’s why X-Men First Class was pretty grounded. We set it in the Cuban Missile Crisis; they had relatable human problems. And it wasn’t relying on the CG. I think CG’s f–ked up everything as well, because you feel like you’re watching a video game. You’re not with the characters.

Apart from Guardians, I still think Groot and the raccoon are f–king pieces of genius, that I feel so much for them. So I’ll be intrigued. I think at least DC is under; I think James Gunn and Saffron they’ve got a good chance of popping, and hopefully, Feige will go back to less is more and make less films and concentrate on making them great.

Matthew Vaughn’s Humanity First Style Of Superhero Movie

The cast of X-Men First Class

X-Men: First Class takes big swings delving into the history of Charles Xavier and Magneto, but it does two things very well that ground it in the humanity audiences can relate to. It incorporates an actual historical event, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it focuses on the humanity of the characters. Vaughn explained during the interview, “I always say, the crazier it is, the more human it has to be.” This movie is the perfect example, and it’s a motto that should be at the forefront of every superhero movie writer and director.

Related: X-Men Could Have Rivaled The MCU (If It Followed The First Class Plan)

As the superhero genre has grown, the action has gotten bigger, and the stories have leaned into the absurdity of the comics they adapt. While there are many exciting aspects to this evolution, it has started to dominate the box office, potentially to its detriment. The majority of superhero movies that have come out in the last couple of years have not been the massive success that the ones that came before have proven to be. This could be the superhero fatigue that so many have suggested, but it may be something deeper.

Vaughn’s style of leaning into humanity through actual historical moments and/or human issues makes the characters more empathetic to audiences. The MCU has grown past many of these more human stories, focusing instead on the large-scale team-ups between massively powerful characters. As the MCU introduces more characters, it becomes more difficult to connect with specific ones. Both the MCU and DCU have an opportunity to shift focus to more character-driven stories that tap into the humanity that Vaughn is talking about. X-Men: First Class could be a model for this, especially with the X-Men coming to the MCU at some point in the future.

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