Kingsman director says fans have had enough of dark superhero movies

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Jan 6, 2015, 5:04 PM EST

The director of Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service told SFX magazine in a new interview that he thinks the time of somber, heavier adaptations like Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is coming to an end:

"People want fun and escapism at the moment. 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."

From the trailers and footage we've seen, Kingsman: The Secret Service -- Vaughn's second collaboration with Kick-Ass comic-book writer Mark Millar -- fits what he's talking about, being both an adaptation of Millar's typically over-the-top book as well as a "love letter" to classic tongue-in-cheek British and American spy films from the '60s and '70s.

Kingsman stars Colin Firth as the very upright and proper Harry Hart, a veteran member of a clandestine British spy agency who recruits a young street punk (Taron Egerton) into the ranks to fight bad guys like the movie's insane Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Vaughn spoke about the film's tone:

"The studio was like, 'What is this -- Austin Powers?' It was a balancing act, but I think we pulled it off. 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."

We'll find out soon enough if Vaughn succeeded: Kingsman opens in the U.K. on Jan. 29 and the U.S. on Feb. 13. But do you agree that the time for dark, Nolanesque superhero and comic-book films has come and gone? Or is simply a matter of whatever works best for the material?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)