Matthew Vaughn may have finally gotten the chance to make an X-Men movie when he rebooted the timeline with First Class, but the Kingsman director was originally attached to helm previous instalment The Last Stand. After Bryan Singer opted not to bring his trilogy to a close in favor of Superman Returns, countless filmmakers were offered the chance to get behind the camera before Fox eventually settled on Brett Ratner.
After a troubled development process, the studio imposed some pretty tight deadlines on the production, which only added to the pressure that came with The Last Stand being the most expensive movie ever made at that point with a budget of $210 million. Vaughn walked away just two months before shooting started, meaning that many of his casting choices and story points were present in the version of the superhero blockbuster that hit theaters, including what might be the single worst piece of casting in the history of the X-Men series.
Juggernaut has always been one of the team’s most formidable foes in the pages of the comic books, but it would be an understatement to say that Vinnie Jones’ performance didn’t have the same kind of menace, and it didn’t help that the prosthetics he wore made him look ridiculous. Having spent well over a decade listening to the criticism, the actor has finally responded and looks to set the record straight about his involvement.
“I loved the role, but hopefully you can put it f**king right here, mate. I basically got mugged off. Matthew Vaughn signed me up, and it was a great role and a great script, and Juggernaut was a great character. I signed up for three of them, and that will show you how serious I was about it. Brett Ratner basically dissolved the character. I was in my f**king trailer half the time. It’s one of the most disappointing jobs I’ve been on as far as, you know, ‘What am I doing here?’.”
Jones admits that the character he ended up playing wasn’t the same one he signed on for, with Ratner’s changes to the script severely reducing his screentime and basically setting him up for a fall, with Juggernaut one of the most-widely criticized aspects of the entire movie.
“It wasn’t the same Juggernaut as I signed on for. They took his storyline away, they’d taken his character away, his dialogue. I had two big meetings with Brett about it, and he said, ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s coming. They’re writing stuff for you as we speak’ and it never f**king happened. Disappointment wise, that was probably one of the biggest. What’s upsetting is some of the fans blame me! It was f**king nothing to do with me! That role, I didn’t sign up for. The Juggernaut you saw was not the Juggernaut I signed on for with Matthew Vaughn, I’ll tell you that now. It upset me.”
We did at least get to see a more comic-accurate Juggernaut in Deadpool 2 with Ryan Reynolds providing the voice for the fully-CGI character, and despite how terrifying the prospect of Vinnie Jones signing up for three X-Men movies sounds on paper, at least he’s making the effort to convince the fans that the overwhelmingly negative reception to the role wasn’t entirely his fault.