While “Stardust” is largely a straight-ahead adventure, there are still a few moments where you can feel Vaughn leaning in from the sidelines and upending conventions. The most notable example can be seen in basically every scene involving Robert De Niro’s Captain Shakespeare: In public, Shakespeare is a sky pirate with a fearsome reputation (similar to the Dread Pirate Roberts from “The Princess Bride”), but away from the prying eyes of his crew, he’s more of a gentleman pirate who would almost certainly enjoy hanging out with “Our Flag Means Death” protagonist Stede Bonnet. You get the sense that Vaughn absolutely delighted in seeing De Niro play so wildly against type, and the loving portrayal of the character largely holds up today, even though the film came out a little over 16 years ago and was released in a drastically different social climate.
Personally, I’d love to see Vaughn return to this type of filmmaking again. It just probably won’t be for “Stardust 2.”
We spoke about “Stardust” and the rest of Vaughn’s directorial efforts on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:
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