How The King's Man Expands the Super-Spy Series
Summer 2021 brings a new installment in the KINGSMAN franchise to the big screen, but instead of a new sequel, this film dashes back into the series history – way back, to the early 1900s. THE KING’S MAN explores how the super-secretive spy agency was originally formed and introduces a whole new ensemble of heroes and villains.
While our old pals Eggsy and Harry Hart won’t be returning for this particular chapter, KINGSMAN director Matthew Vaughn is calling the shots once again, to deliver a new action-packed adventure. Let's take a closer look at THE KING’S MAN and see how this prequel expands the world of the fictional British intelligence agency.
Keeping Up With Kingsman
But first, a quick recap: Released in 2014, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE introduced audiences to the thrilling world of the Kingsman agency. Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a scrappy young British man who drops out of the Royal Marines and wastes his skills on petty crimes. He’s visited by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an extremely well-dressed fellow who was also a colleague of Eggsy’s late father. Harry recruits Eggsy to join a super-secret intelligence agency known as Kingsman, which uses an upscale tailor shop as cover for its headquarters.
Each agent has a code name: Harry is Galahad, for instance. Eggsy’s first job is taking on a deranged multimillionaire, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who plans to use his technology to wipe out a large chunk of the world’s population, thus saving it from extinction. He's sort of like Marvel’s Thanos in that way. In the end, Harry dies and Eggsy saves the day, becoming the new Galahad.
2017’s KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE opens with an attack on Kingsman headquarters that leaves Eggsy – now Galahad – and agency tech expert Merlin (Mark Strong) as the only surviving agents. The pair head across the pond to the United States. They team up with agents from Kingsman’s American outpost, Statesman, to take on a mutual enemy: Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), leader of the world’s biggest drug cartel. Eggsy also discovers that Harry is still alive, but has severe amnesia and does not remember his life as a Kingsman agent. The film ends with Statesman purchasing an old distillery in Scotland to serve as Kingsman’s new HQ, and American Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) joining the British agency overseas.
In the Beginning…
[Image credit: 20th Century Fox]
While director Matthew Vaughn has revealed plans for a potential sequel continuing the contemporary story of Eggsy and his pals, the newest installment is a prequel. THE KING’S MAN is set in the early 1900s and tracks the formation of the British spy agency. A collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds, including the legendary Rasputin, come together to form an evil supergroup. Together, they plot a war that could kill millions of innocent people.
The Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his young protege, Conrad (Harris Dickinson), take it upon themselves to uncover the conspiracy and put a stop to it before a new war begins. To do so, they must enlist the help of other highly-skilled and valiant heroes, and thus, the Kingsman agency is born.
The World Expands
THE GOLDEN CIRCLE showed us that Kingsman’s mission reaches far beyond England, by introducing the Statesman agency. Fittingly enough, that outpost is run out of a whiskey distillery, and its agents have boozy codenames like Champagne and Tequila. It’s unclear if THE KING’S MAN will introduce more ally agencies in other parts of the world, but it certainly seems like a possibility given that the villains of prequel are from various countries – like notorious Russian historical figure Rasputin, played by Rhys Ifans.
THE KING’S MAN will also explore Eggsy’s family history within the organization by introducing Lee Unwin (who is presumably Eggsy’s grandfather), played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, an actor who caught his big break playing the hero in KICK-ASS, another graphic novel adaptation directed by Matthew Vaughn.
The Men and Women of The King's Man
The prequel features Ralph Fiennes (HARRY POTTER) and Harris Dickinson (MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL) as the main heroes, alongside Gemma Arterton (QUANTUM OF SOLACE) as Polly and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lee.
As with the previous movies, this one has a great ensemble cast that includes Charles Dance of “Game of Thrones” fame as Arthur, Matthew Goode (WATCHMEN) as Tristan, and Stanley Tucci as the Kingsman agency’s first Merlin. THE KING’S MAN also stars Djimon Hounsou (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), Tom Hollander (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY), and Daniel Bruhl (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER).
THE KING'S MAN goes back in time on August 20!
All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios.