Matthew Vaughn Didn't Want Stardust To Fall Prey To Sequel Syndrome

The film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" was entertaining but, despite what some would consider a decent fantasy film, it didn't make enough money to warrant a sequel. Considering the amount of things altered from book to screen, a sequel would have given plenty of room for exploration of things we missed and the like. Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be. For director Matthew Vaughn, though, not getting a sequel greenlit was probably for the best. 

In "Stardust," we follow Tristan (Charlie Cox) in his journey to locate a fallen star initially to impress his crush, Victoria (Sienna Miller). In order to find this fallen star, he must cross over from his little village of Wall into the magical kingdom of Stormhold. The only thing stopping him is a guard. But, he has a cheat code of sorts to get past the guard, who is far too spritely for his age. Utilizing a Babylon candle that when lit can take him anywhere he desires, he is transported instantly to the fallen star's location. In the star's place, though, is the woman, Yvaine (Claire Danes). And, as it turns out, he is not the only one in pursuit of the star.

While the film's ending differs from the original novel, ending on a tightly wrapped up note, there was wiggle room to explore the world of "Stardust" via Tristan's and Yvaine's descendants. But, when it came to "Stardust," Vaughn didn't want the film to be contingent on future sequels. 

'I want to make a good film'

With franchises being the bread and butter of Hollywood, it's surprising to hear anyone share that they don't want to do a sequel. But Vaughn had no problem admitting that in his interview with Movies.IE during promotion of "Stardust." His reasoning for why is quite sound. "For me, it's about making the movie and I'm not interested in anything else," shared Vaughn. "Franchises come from making a good film and that's why franchises often collapse with the second one because they are often chasing the money and they are not thinking about the film."

Prior to "Stardust," Vaughn had exited "X-Men: Last Stand," where release dates became more important than time spent making a quality picture. After his experience working on that film, there was a need to invest in a film that he wanted to make. This provided him with a necessary freedom that he might not otherwise have had working under a large studio system. 

"I want to make a good film and I personally believe that gave me the freedom to piss off a hundred thousand people who say 'oh you've changed this from the book..' but to be frank I'm more interested in the potential millions who may be more interested in seeing a fine movie," Vaughn concluded, and for the most part, he did make a fun movie. Despite Vaughn's apprehensive around sequels, this doesn't necessarily mean a sequel hasn't been thought of.

Possibilities for Stardust sequel

Will we ever get a sequel to "Stardust"? It's difficult to say but it's not like there haven't been ideas floating around from Vaughn concerning the future of the film version of the fantasy story. In an interview with Den of Geek, Vaughn discussed an idea he had for a "Stardust" sequel that involved transporting viewers a bit further in time:

"The opening scene was Charlie Cox's character, being the king and throwing out the necklace. This time the necklace goes over the wall and bounces off Big Ben, and you're suddenly in London in the early 1960s, with these mad kings and princes and princesses running around London. All on the quest for the stone. That was my idea for the sequel, but sadly the film didn't make enough money for anyone to want to make it. That was a shame."

While a film sequel of "Stardust" is unlikely to happen at this point, it's a hot market right now for Gaiman's stories, especially when adapted for television. The most recent example of this is in the extremely well-received Netflix series, "The Sandman," which is about the closest fans of gotten to a perfect Gaiman adaptation. Given the much larger story in its pages, perhaps the future of "Stardust" is better served as a series. Maybe then, the discussion surrounding sequels (or maybe second seasons as it were) may lead to something more...

Until then, all we can do is wish upon a falling star.