English filmmaker Matthew Vaughn first burst on to the international film scene as a producer of his friend Guy Ritchie’s breakthrough films LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS and SNATCH. He then made to transition into directing with the 2004 film LAYER CAKE, which starred Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller. Layer Cake, a stylish British gangster film based on a hit novel, not only established Craig as a superstar (and the new 007), it turned Vaughn into a hot commodity in Hollywood.
His next two films, STARDUST and KICK-ASS, were adaptations of popular graphic novels. The 2010 Kick-Ass was an independently financed film that Lions Gate placed high hopes on after footage from the film stole the show at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. Unfortunately, the film underperformed badly at the box office as the marketing campaign for this R-rated film failed miserably. However, his work on the film impressed 20th Century Fox enough to select him to be Bryan Singer’s replacement as director of the upcoming X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, which opens nationwide on June 3rd. Does Vaughn have the chops to resuscitate an X-Men film franchise that has suffered nearly mortal wounds due to pathetic films directed by hack filmmakers such as Brett Ratner (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND) and Gavin Hood (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE)?