Matthew Vaughn: People "Have Had Enough" of Christopher Nolan's Dark Superhero Films

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The 'Kick-Ass' director, who is also Claudia Schiffer's husband, discusses his upcoming spy film 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' and audiences' need for fun

Christopher Nolan's three-film tenure as the director of Batman might have concluded, but the days of his dark, gritty style of superhero films may also be drawing to close, according to director Matthew Vaughn.

In the latest issue of SFX magazine, the Kick-Ass director, who is also Claudia Schiffer's husband, argued that audiences are turning their backs on such movies in favor of more lighthearted material.

"People want fun and escapism at the moment," he said. "Look at the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it."

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Vaughn's latest film, due out in the U.K. on Jan. 29 and in the U.S. on Feb. 13, is Kingsman: The Secret Service, which he describes as a "love letter" to the classic British spy films of the 1970s.

"I was born in 1971, so they were very formative years for me growing up. I was inspired by all of it. The Avengers, Harry Palmer, The Prisoner, The Man from UNCLE, In Like Flint," the director said. "Of course, there's a huge shadow of Bond — Bond is the monolith of spy movies — but it's not just about Bond; there were a lot of other things that influenced me."

Based on the 2012 comic book by Mark Millar (who also wrote Kick-Ass), Kingsman: The Secret Service stars Colin Firth as Harry Hart, a well-dressed David Niven-esque member of a clandestine and quintessentially British underground organization. Hart is given a protege in Eggsy (played by newcomer Taron Egerton), an unruly teen from a run-down estate whom he must train into the ranks. Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine also star. Jackson plays Valentine, a psychotic baseball-cap-wearing bad guy with a thick lisp.

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"The studio was like, 'What is this — Austin Powers?' It was a balancing act, but I think we pulled it off," Vaughn said. "It's not a comedy, but it's full of laughs. It's got everything. It's what we did with Kick-Ass — it's a proper movie, but we're allowed to have a bit more fun with it. Its aim was to be entertaining but not silly."

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