Matthew Allard Robert Vaughn (born 7 March 1971 in London) is a British film director, producer and screenwriter.
Vaughn produced Guy Ritchie's very first films, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch. and Swept Away. In 2004 he directed his first feature, the crime drama Layer Cake starring Daniel Craig before his James Bond fame. The film was a critical and commercial success and led him to direct other succesful features, most of them based on graphic novels and comic books like Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Until 2002, he had thought that he was the child of a relationship between his mother, Kathy Ceaton, and actor Robert Vaughn. His father turned out to be George Albert Harley de Vere Drummond, an English aristocrat who is a godson of King George VI.
He is married to German supermodel Claudia Schiffer since 2002.
- Layer Cake (2004)
- Stardust (2007)
- Kick-Ass (2010)
- X-Men: First Class (2011)
- Argylle (2022)
- Author Appeal: His love for the sillier, gadget-filled eras of the James Bond series (the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan eras most prominently) led him to make the Kingsman series, which in many ways is an Affectionate Parody of those Bond eras.
- Creator's Favorite: He has made it very clear in interviews that Magneto is his favourite X-Men character, and he even dismissed Professor X as being sanctimonious and boring. As a consequence, Erik comes off as the main protagonist in X-Men: First Class despite the film being heavily advertised as containing two lead characters of equal importance. If Vaughn had remained as the director for the sequel, Magneto would once again be the central figure, but after Bryan Singer replaced him, Singer then gave the spotlight back to the younger Xavier because Charles is his favourite.
- Creator Thumbprint: A reason why his fight scenes are unique are due to the usage of unconventional POV Cams and a noted tendency to cut frames just before an impact to give a hit more punch.
- Decon-Recon Switch: Seemingly, a preferred trope of his. Several of the works he's adapted already had elements of this, and he's pushed it further in his movies. He's done it with pre-Tolkien heroic fantasy, vigilante superheroes and gentleman Spies, so far.
- Jitter Cam: A stylized case in that his films, while often utilizing shakey handheld cameras during action scenes, have most of the jitters added during editing, leading to a unique action experience that's enough to make it his Creator Thumbprint. He's aware of the downsides to this enough to tone it down or not use it at all though.
- Magnum Opus Dissonance: Michelle Pfeiffer got quite a start when she was cast in Stardust and Vaughn revealed that his favourite film of hers was...Grease 2.Michelle: I thought he was pulling my leg...It was my role in that that made him want to work with me.
- P.O.V. Cam: He has a habit of putting the camera perspective behind a gun, on top of the gun barrel, or really just somewhere weird in general, like the inside of a mouth.
- Production Posse:
- He frequently collaborates with actors Mark Strong, Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher and Corey Johnson. Henry Jackman and Ilan Eshkeri usually compose the music for the films with Kick-Ass being a collaboration between the two, though Jackman will likely be the most usual in the future. Jane Goldman has also co-written some of his films along with him. He's also largely Mark Millar's partner in crime when it comes to making films, as the comics written by Millar that Vaughn adapts are essentially the first drafts/pitches of their movie counterparts anyways.
- Taron Egerton has, at the time of writing, starred in four films that have been in some way overseen (directed or produced) by Vaughn.
- Signature Style: His leading ladies very often bear a strong resemblance to his wife, model Claudia Schiffer — tall, slender, and blonde — has not gone unnoticed by moviegoers. Poppy's Robot Maid in Kingsman: The Golden Circle is also modelled after her.
- What Could Have Been:
- He was set to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, but dropped out. He also decided not to direct another X-Men installment, X-Men: Days of Future Past, because he wanted to work on Kingsman: The Secret Service, so the reins were given back to Bryan Singer, the director of the first two films of the X-Men Film Series, X-Men and X2: X-Men United, although Vaughn still gets credited for providing the basic story outline.
- Vaughn was attached to direct Thor. His vision of the film would have been "Gladiator with Norse Mythology''" and stuck closely to the comics. However, the script was altered at the behest of Marvel to make it less costly and expensive, with the budget being reduced from $300 million to a more manageable $150 million. Eventually, he dropped out of the project and Kenneth Branagh replaced him.