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Hot Trailer: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

Kingsman_c20th Century Fox has released the first look at Matthew Vaughn‘s Kingsman: The Secret Service, the pic based on the comic series by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Of course Vaughn wrote and directed the first Kick-Ass movie, and he also wrote and directed X-Men: First Class — both were hits. But he decided not to helm Kick-Ass 2 and he backed out of the First Class follow-up X-Men: Days Of Future Past – and after the latter Mike Fleming Jr told us Vaughn was eyeing Secret Service as his next pic. (Bryan Singer, the franchise’s launcher, took the Days Of Future Past gig and that is due out this week.). Vaughn wrote Secret Service with writing partner Jane Goldman, and his Marv Films financed and produced. Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine and Taron Egerton star in the drama that closely follows the comic, about a veteran secret agent who leads a young protege into the shadowy business. Fox has set an October 24 release date after shifting it around a couple times. It received strong response at CinemaCon and WonderCon when the studio showed sneak peeks. Here’s the trailer:

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Matthew Vaughn’s ‘The Secret Service’ Gets A Femme Fatale In Sofia Boutella

By | Tuesday October 29, 2013 @ 10:54am PDT
Mike Fleming

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella has been set to play the lead female antagonist alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Matthew Vaughn’s The Secret Service. Colin Firth stars. Boutella, who will shoot in London until late January, also has signed with 42 for representation in the UK and Paradigm in the U.S. The actress has been a dancer on Madonna’s world tour and in some of her videos and a runway favorite of Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris. After doing French films and TV, this is her first major role in a Hollywood film.

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UPDATE: Fox Wins Rights To Matthew Vaughn’s Next Pic ‘The Secret Service’, Sets November 2014 Release Date

By | Wednesday March 27, 2013 @ 4:35pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 4:35 PM: Fox has just confirmed Deadline’s earlier scoop and set a November 14, 2014 wide release date for The Secret Service.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 11:43 AM: After scrapping with Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox has just closed a deal for worldwide distribution rights to The Secret Service, the next directorial outing by Matthew Vaughn, who most recently helmed X-Men: First Class for Fox, and Kick-Ass.

Vaughn has already completed the script for this film with his writing partner Jane Goldman, and his Marv Films will finance and produce the film, based on the comic series by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Fox is going to date it quickly for next year, and production will begin in August.

The drama closely follows the comic, about a veteran secret agent who leads a young protege into the shadowy business. Back when Deadline broke news that Vaughn was handing the directing reins of X-Men: Days Of Future Past to Bryan Singer, I noted that he was eyeing The Secret Service as his next film. Read More »

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Matthew Vaughn Boards Fox’s ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 11:55am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: X-Men: First Class‘s Matthew Vaughn has come aboard as producer on Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot. Chronicle‘s Josh Trank is directing from a script by Jeremy Slater. It’s set for a March 6, 2015 release.

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For Career Suicide, Nothing Beats The Web

By | Friday November 30, 2012 @ 9:37am PST
Mike Fleming

I am endlessly fascinated by the number of artists who damage their careers with dumb, self-important expressions of thought on Twitter, Facebook and other viral outlets. You don’t have to be Jack Kevorkian to see that the misguided need to service ego with viral expression is becoming a fantastic way to attempt career suicide. This week alone, we’ve seen Two And A Half Men’s Angus T. Jones flat-line his professional future like he was drinking tiger blood, after condemning as “filth” the show that pays him over $8 million a year. He did this in a taped testimonial for something called the Forerunner Christian Church.

Then, writer-director James Gunn found himself hoping Marvel won’t fire him from its next big superhero franchise Guardians Of The Galaxy because obscure bloggers dredged up a two-year old Tumblr blog post Gunn wrote in jest. In it, he described in detail which superheroes he would most like to bed, mixing in homophobic references for good measure. Finally, British actor Jason Flemyng, most often seen in films directed by Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn, got into a playful conversation with some website guys with a camera-phone. As he cagily parried a question on whether Vaughn might direct the next Star Wars and hire him as an actor, Flemyng might have validated all the speculation. Or did he?

Celebrities have been strung up forever for saying dumb things in interviews while out promoting projects, but I find myself shaking my head when they fashion the noose themselves in web postings delivered when they have nothing to gain. Maybe it’s because I push words around for a living and maybe it’s because I’m lazy, but if I wasn’t being paid to write, I wouldn’t scribble a grocery list. For the life of me, I just don’t get the obsession with Twitter, Facebook and these other viral forms that celebs use to validate and sometimes snare themselves. I was taught long ago that it is fine to write stuff while your emotions are high and when you are riled up, but you should never publish until you’ve stepped away and taken the opportunity to consider all the angles, the potential for shrapnel, and consider the people your words might offend or alienate. I did find it interesting to observe this week’s blowback from celebs who didn’t do that. Read More »

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Matthew Vaughn Won’t Direct ‘X-Men: First Class 2′; Will Bryan Singer Replace Him?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Vaughn has decided not to direct the sequel to 20th Century Fox‘s hit spinoff X-Men: First Class. Ready for the next shocker? Atop the studio’s replacement short list is Bryan Singer, who launched the X-Men feature franchise with the first two superb films and who has been a guiding influence in this spinoff by writing the treatment and producing. If this works out, Singer and Vaughn would essentially be switching roles. Vaughn, who wrote the treatment for the sequel for X-Men: Days Of Future Past that was scripted by Simon Kinberg, would step back to produce the film with Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner.

Vaughn will do another film for Fox, and I’m hearing it will be the drama Secret Service, an adaptation of the Mark Millar comic book series that Vaughn has been working on with the author. Read More »

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‘X-Men: First Class’ Helmer Matthew Vaughn Options Max Barry Thriller Novel ‘Lexicon’

By | Wednesday May 30, 2012 @ 5:15pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Using his own money, Matthew Vaughn has optioned Lexicon, the new thriller novel by Max Barry that will be published next year by Penguin in the U.S. and Mulholland in the UK. Vaughn is writing the script to direct.

Barry’s novels include Jennifer Government, Company and Machine. In Lexicon, the setting is contemporary but in a world where words are potentially lethal weapons–tools for persuading others to do what you want–which are wielded by members of a secret, ancient, global organization of people with an aptitude for persuasion in general. Their most gifted and troubled member, a young woman, breaks the society’s primary rule and falls in love.

Vaughn is coming off X-Men: First Class and is working on a sequel which Fox has on a fast track. He’s also producing a sequel to his film Kick-Ass, which will be directed by Jeff Wadlow and became real when Universal signed on. That’s plenty of action. This deal came about when Barry’s agents at Janklow & Nesbit Associates sent an advance copy of the book only to Vaughn, and the filmmaker responded.

Janklow & Nesbit, which almost always used a co-agent to make movie deals in the past (usually CAA,) now handles that task for most of the agency’s authors, since opening a Hollywood outpost in March. Janklow & Nesbit’s Carlo Martinelli and Amanda Schweitzer did this deal for Barry.

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20th Century Fox Production President Emma Watts Reups Through 2015; Sets Matthew Vaughn For ‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 8:30am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has re-upped production president Emma Watts to a new multi-year deal that will keep her in the post through 2015. The new deal was made by Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, co-chairmen and CEOs of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Since taking over as sole production president in 2009, Watts has made it a priority to populate the studio’s slates with elite filmmakers, and keep them coming back for more. The studio in past years had the reputation of being very hands-on. That kept budgets in check, but didn’t make Fox a haven for major directors. Read More »

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‘X-Men: First Class’ Scribe Jane Goldman Scripting ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While screenwriter Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn are expected to return for the sequel to X-Men: First Class, Goldman is in talks with 20th Century Fox on another priority project with a major director. She’ll adapt Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that Chernin Entertainment is producing, and Tim Burton is circling to direct.

Goldman most recently adapted The Woman In Black, the CBS Films thriller that stars Daniel Radcliffe. In Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Jacob is a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, he can see the children were more than peculiar, they might have been there because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are still lurking around. Peter Chernin, … Read More »

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‘X-Men: First Class’ Writing Credit Dispute Resolved

Mike Fleming

A Writers Guild arbitration upheld the WGA decision that Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn deserve screenplay credit on X-Men: First Class, with Sheldon Turner (who wrote an origin film about Magneto) and Bryan Singer (who wrote an outline for the film at the beginning) getting story credit. There were more writers on the films than mutants in it and a skirmish unfolded for script credit. The Vaughn-directed Fox film opens June 3.

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Matthew Vaughn Seeks Retired Superheroes

EXCLUSIVE: Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class writer/director/producer Matthew Vaughn tells me that a major Hollywood studio is very keen to fully fund his next big project: The Golden Age about a retirement home where superheroes end up. And the title is also a reference to early comic books of the 1930s when Superman and Batman first appeared. It’s based on the yet-to-be-published comic book written by Brit TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, who’s a huge comics buff. Vaughn is currently in LA editing X-Men: First Class for Fox, but tells me he wants to get actors attached to the new project before the script is written. His wish list is Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Warren Beatty to play the retired superheroes who help out their grandchildren when their middle-aged parent screw up the world.

Vaughn believes the success of The Expendables and Red shows that audiences are open to the idea of older action heroes. “You have these great star names and they’re mainly playing supporting roles now. I want to give them the lead again and let them have some fun.”

It’s not certain whether Vaughn’s partner Jane Goldman, who has co-written X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass for Vaughn to direct, will be penning this one, though. Vaughn says he may hire other writers. And he may not direct it himself either. He may produce The Golden Age. Vaughn started out in life as Guy Ritchie’s producer and then turned director.

Turf, Ross’s gangsters-versus-vampires comic book drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards, is up to issue 3 in its 5-part … Read More »

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Warner Bros/Legendary Land Jonathan Liebesman For 3D ‘Clash’ Sequel

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE: Warner Bros closed a deal late last night for Battle: Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman to direct Clash of the Titans 2. Production begins February 1 in the UK and possibly Iceland at a budget comparable to the $130 million spent on the original. I’d written yesterday about the ongoing talks that were stuck on money. Later in the day, they found a common ground–the studio came up with more dough. The sequel is a natural considering that the protagonists played by Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton survived, and the original grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. But Clash benefited by being one of the first major live action films to get a 3D retrofit. Read More »

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Matthew Vaughn’s UK-Hollywood Film Plan

By | Saturday August 28, 2010 @ 1:04pm PDT

This is exclusive to Deadline and updates Director Matthew Vaughn Pitches Film Fund That’s “Win/Win For Britain And Hollywood”:

PROPOSAL FOR A UK GOVERNMENT FILM FUND

Introduction
This paper sets out the rationale for creating a UK Government film fund using the proceeds from the film tax credit ceasing to be free and instead becoming recoupable and entitled to a profit share.

Background
Film is the flagship of the UK’s creative industries, but suffers from deep rooted market failure due primarily to lack of scale in its home market (only the US, Indian and Chinese markets have sufficient scale to support their film industries). Nevertheless, the UK has two major competitive advantages in its language and the renowned quality of its filmmakers, cast, crew and service providers.

Broadly, the film industry consists of two sectors: (a) the service providers such as post production facilities, physical studios, visual effect houses etc. and (b) the independent producer community. The first group is part of a global market competing for work on U.S. studio productions and currently much in demand because of its quality and the film tax credit incentivising the studios to base their films here; the second group is a fragmented cottage industry consisting of producers of vastly differing ability, all competing to find money to finance their individual film projects.

Most of this finance comes from offshore (typically a US studio or other foreign distributor) so any profits arising from exploitation of UK films return

Read More »

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Vaughn Pitches UK-Hollywood Film Fund

Details Of Matthew Vaughn’s UK-Hollywood Film Plan

Hollywood studios have a long history of shooting blockbusters in England. For instance, Britain’s Pinewood Shepperton has been the location of choice for big Hollywood blockbusters like the Harry Potter, James Bond and Batman franchises. But for all intents and purposes the U.S. majors have viewed the 20% UK tax credit they receive for making films here as free money. Now Matthew Vaughn, director of X Men: First Class which is just about to start shooting here, is floating an interesting suggestion. He is proposing that Hollywood majors who take advantage of the 20% British tax credit then repay the money in the event of a hit — and plough that portion of the profits into a UK film fund backing British-produced pics.

“The thing I’m annoyed about,” Vaughn tells me, “is how many movies are made in Britain without any British money in them. It’s tragic how we’ve handled things. Most British producers think it’s an achievement even getting a film made. My goal is that we won’t even need Hollywood money in 10 years’ time.”

Vaughn tells me that the UK needs to monetize that 20% studio tax credit. Since Hollywood needs investor equity now that Wall Street money has dried up, the studios could count on UK plc as a firm partner that takes a secondary equity position. “In today’s cash-strapped world, ‘soft equity’ is a valuable commodity for studios and producers alike,” Vaugh insists. “Looking at the UK’s position … Read More »

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January Jones Set For ‘X-Men: First Class’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has rounded out the cast of X-Men: First Class, and the big surprise is that Mad Men star January Jones has been signed to play the role of Emma Frost, the gorgeous mutant with telepathic powers. At the same time, director Matthew Vaughn has set Zoe Kravitz to play Angel; Salvadore; Jason Flemyng will play Azazel, the father of Nightcrawler; Bill Milner to play the young version of Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and Morgan Lily to play the Young Raven. They join Fassbender, James McAvoy (Xavier), Nicholas Hoult (Beast) Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee), Lucas Till (Havoc), Edi Gathegi  (Darwin), who round out the mutant contingent. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain, Rose Byrne will play McAvoy’s love interest Moira MacTaggert, and Oliver Platt is playing The Man in Black. Production begins August 23 in London.

UTA client Jones, who plays Mad Men‘s Betty Francis — the recently divorced wife of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) — will emerge from that 1960s setting to play Emma Frost, the mutant also known as the White Queen. While speculative reports had Alice Eve playing that role, no deal was concluded. Mad Men wraps its fourth season in early September, and she will be able to jump right into the role. Jones received her first Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama, for Mad Men.

Kravitz (the daughter of singer and Precious star Lenny Kravitz) is set to star in the upcoming George Miller-directed Mad Max: Fury Road; Flemyng most recently starred in Kick-Ass, Milner is best known from Son of Rambow Read More »

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Oliver Platt Joins ‘X-Men: First Class’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Add Oliver Platt to the cast of X-Men: First Class, the Matthew Vaughn-directed spinoff that 20th Century Fox puts into production next month in London. I’m told that Platt will play a role called The Man in Black, who is not a mutant. The film stars James McAvoy as Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Lucas Till as Havoc, and Edi Gathegi as Darwin. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain and Rose Byrne will play McAvoy’s love interest Moira MacTaggert. Read More »

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‘X-Men: First Class’ Drafts Twilight Vampire Edi Gathegi To Play Biracial Mutant Darwin

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Edi Gathegi, who played a chillingly evil vampire in Twilight and Twilight Saga: New Moon, is joining X-Men: First Class in the role of Darwin. That character, the first bi-racial mutant (in the comic series), has the power of “reactive evolution,” which allows him to adapt to any situation or environment. Plunged underwater, he’ll grow gills, he’ll gain night vision in pitch black and his skin grows fire retardant when burned.

Gathegi, who played Laurent in the Twilight films, just wrapped production on the Paul Johansson-directed adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged. He’s repped by Paradigm and Framework.

X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has set James McAvoy to play Xavier, Michael Fassbender to play Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult to play Beast, Jennifer Lawrence to play Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones to play Banshee and Lucas Till to play Havoc. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain.

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WME Signs ‘Kick-Ass’ Scribe Jane Goldman

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter Jane Goldman has signed with WME. The British scribe is best known for teaming with director Matthew Vaughn to write Stardust and Kick-Ass. They are now scribbling away on X-Men: First Class as Vaughn heads to the starting gate. They also scripted The Debt, the John Madden-directed drama that was just accepted into the Toronto Film Festival. Separately, she adapted the Susan Hill novel The Woman in Black, which James Watkins will direct this fall with Daniel Radcliffe starring. Goldman, who has an incredible track record for seeing her penned projects make it into production, continues to be repped in the UK by Independent. This is the first time she has had a Hollywood agent. WME also reps Vaughn.

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Kevin Bacon In Talks For ‘X-Men: First Class’ Baddie

Mike Fleming

kevin_baconI’m told that Kevin Bacon has the offer and is negotiating to play the villain role in X-Men: First Class. Not sure of his character, and they have to make his deal, but Bacon would line up nicely alongside James McAvoy (Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Alice Eve (Emma Frost), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee), and Lucas Till (Havoc). Director Matthew Vaughn is casting up a storm as the picture nears the start line.

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