Matthew Vaughn

Vaughn is best known for starting his career working as a producer for the Guy Ritchie films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000) and Swept Away (2002).

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Matthew Allard Robert Vaughn was born in Beverly Hills, California and raised in London. Until 2002, he had thought that he was the child of a relationship between his mother, Kathy Ceaton (died 20 July 2013), and American actor Robert Vaughn, but a paternity investigation in the 1980s revealed that Robert Vaughn was not, in fact, his father, though Ceaton never revealed this to Vaughn. Upon asking his mother about his true paternity, she revealed that his father was George Albert Harley de Vere Drummond, an English aristocrat who is a godson of King George VI. Early in Vaughn’s life, before the paternity investigation, Robert Vaughn asked for the child’s surname to be Vaughn, and it continues today as Vaughn’s professional name.

Vaughn was educated at Sussex House School in London and then Stowe School in Buckingham. In the year-long interval between Stowe and university, he travelled around the world on a Hard Rock Cafe tour. After arriving in Los Angeles he started working as a film director’s assistant. He later returned to London, and attended University College London studying anthropology and ancient history. He dropped out after a few weeks.

At 25, Vaughn produced a low-budget thriller, The Innocent Sleep (1996), starring Annabella Sciorra and Michael Gambon. He continued as a producer on close friend Guy Ritchie’s film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The film was a critical, popular and financial success, earning Vaughn and Ritchie £9 million each. Vaughn would later produce Ritchie’s Snatch and Swept Away.

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In 2004, Vaughn made his directorial debut with the film Layer Cake. It was well received and its success led to Vaughn being tapped to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but he dropped out only two weeks before filming began. He was subsequently very critical of Brett Ratner’s direction of the film. For his next project he co-wrote and directed Stardust, followed by a movie adaptation of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass in 2010. Vaughn directed and co-wrote the first film in the prequel trilogy of the X-Men film universe, X-Men: First Class (2011). He was signed to return to the series as director of the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), but dropped out in favour of Bryan Singer who had directed the first two films in the original trilogy, X-Men and X2: X-Men United. Vaughn remained attached to the film by co-writing the script. Vaughn’s next directorial project, was Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), an adaptation of Mark Millar and David Gibbons’s comic book The Secret Service. The film was scripted by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, and produced by Vaughn’s production company Marv Films.

Vaughn returned to direct, produce, and co-write the Kingsman sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was released in September 2017.

In March 2017, Collider reported that Vaughn is top choice to direct Man of Steel 2. In September of that year, Vaughn confirmed that he was in negotiations with the studio to helm the project.

On 25 May 2002, Vaughn married German model Claudia Schiffer in Suffolk. The couple have three children: son Caspar Matthew de Vere (born 30 January 2003) and daughters Clementine Poppy (born 11 November 2004) and Cosima Violet (born 14 May 2010). The couple have homes in Notting Hill, and own Coldham Hall, Stanningfield, Suffolk.

Memorable Quotes by Matthew Vaughn

“Luck is a huge factor in my career. Most people are given opportunities. Lucky people recognize them and take them.”

“Prep properly and you make a great movie.”

“If you give the audience what they expect, they’ll be bored. There are no rules: You do what you want while respecting the boundaries. You don’t poke people in the eye; you do things they haven’t seen before and make it accessible, funny and clever.”

“[on Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) and why Eggsy inserts a tracking device into the vagina of Ciara] For the first time I wanted to see a spy with an emotional and moral dilemma of having to do something he really doesn’t want to do. Because James Bond would have done that, and probably would have had sex and a cigarette and thought, who’s next? Eggsy is different. And I think it’s really important to do scenes that do make people feel uncomfortable. That scene plays very differently to people. Some people laugh and cheer. Other people are like, ‘Oh my God.’ Some people are disgusted about it. But nobody doesn’t notice it – and, afterward, they’ll talk about it. And that’s what I want to do with films. ”

Things You May Not Know About Matthew Vaughn

He was Guy Ritchie’s best man for his marriage to Madonna.

Mentions in the commentary for Layer Cake (2004) that he is color blind.

In the commentary for Stardust (2007) he mentions that he named Captain Shakespeare’s flying boat Caspartine after his children Caspar and Clementine.

He mentions on the commentary for Kick-Ass (2010) that he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

His favorite movies are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966), Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), The Deer Hunter (1978), Being There (1979), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Rocky III (1982), Scarface (1983), Back to the Future (1985), and Reservoir Dogs (1992).

He has named his influences as Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, Edgar Wright, Jon Favreau, and Paul Thomas Anderson – as well as every director who has directed a James Bond movie.


Matthew Vaughn’s directing credits include…


Year Movie
2004 Layer Cake
2007 Stardust
2010 Kick-Ass
2010 The Debt
2011 X-Men: First Class
2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past
2014 Kingsman: The Secret Service
2017 Kingsman: The Golden Circle
2020 The King’s Man
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