‘The King’s Man’ director reveals ‘X-Men: First Class’ inspiration

the king's man

Even though both movies are period piece prequels set in popular franchises directed by Matthew Vaughn, there aren’t many direct similarities that can be made between X-Men: First Class and next week’s historical actioner The King’s Man.

That’s even more true when you think about the vastly different methods it’s taken them to get to theaters. First Class held its world premiere in May 2011, which was just nine months after Vaughn had called action on the first day of production. The King’s Man, meanwhile, was originally scheduled for release in November 2019, before being kicked around the schedule with reckless abandon.

However, during an interview with ScreenRant, Vaughn revealed that putting his own spin on real-world events in First Class emboldened him to take the Kingsman saga a century into the past, where he’s set showcase the backdrop of World War I in an entirely different light.

“I think the main thing was it gave me the thought, ‘If I can get away with doing the Cuban missile crisis with blue people running around, I can get away with this.’ So I think it gave me much more confidence to take what other people would call two [genres]…Some of the complaints at the moment are, ‘You’ve taken two genres and threw them together.

What is this? What is it?’ I’m like, ‘Well, it’s a Matthew Vaughn film. I had it on Kick-Ass.’ Some of them go, ‘What? You’re doing R-rated and superhero kids thing?’ I always get this criticism for trying to be different, but I’ll be bored if I wasn’t trying to be different. And yeah, First Class definitely gave me the confidence that you can take an historical event and just play around with it a little, but still stick to the historical facts.”

Reviews have been mixed for The King’s Man to put it lightly, but Rhys Ifans is coming in for plenty of praise thanks to a scenery-chewing turn as Rasputin. He’s far from the only famed figure in the narrative, though, with The King’s Man also finding roles for the likes of King George, Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Nicholas, Mata Hari, Erik Jan Hanussen, Herbert Kitchener, Gavrilo Princip and many more.