Kingsman (franchise)

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Kingsman is a British-American film franchise, consisting of action-comedy films, that follow the missions of the Kingsman, a fictional secret service organization. Based on the comic book series of the same name created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, a 2012 Marvel Comics release, the film franchise debut has garnered success both financially and critically.

Kingsman: The Secret Service, directed by Matthew Vaughn from a script he co-wrote with Jane Goldman, was released in February 2015. The film starred Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. A sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was released in September 2017. A prequel, The King's Man, is to be released in February 2021. The first two Kingsman films were released by 20th Century Fox.

The film series will continue with Kingsman: The Blue Blood and spin-off film Statesman in development. The franchise will also expand to television with an eight-hour limited series in development. Adaptations of the films have been published, and numerous Kingsman video games have been released since 2012.

Origin[edit]

The Kingsman film franchise is based on the comic series of the same name, which began with the 2012 comic book The Secret Service. Two sequels, The Big Exit and The Red Diamond, followed in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The series was initially known as The Secret Service before being rebranded after the first Kingsman film's release.[NB 1] The series was created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. It is set in Millar's shared universe, the "Millarverse". An example of this is when the celebrity kidnappings that take place in Kingsman Vol. 1 are referenced in Kick Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years Book Four.[1]

Films[edit]

Overview of Kingsman films
Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriters Story by Producers Status
Original series
Kingsman: The Secret Service 13 February 2015 (2015-02-13) Matthew Vaughn Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman Matthew Vaughn, David Reid and Adam Bohling Released
Kingsman: The Golden Circle 22 September 2017 (2017-09-22)
Kingsman: The Blue Blood TBA TBA Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman Pre-production
Spin-offs
Kingsman: The Great Game 12 February 2021 (2021-02-12) Matthew Vaughn Matthew Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek Matthew Vaughn Matthew Vaughn, David Reid and Adam Bohling Post-production
Kingsman: The Age of Fire TBA TBA Michal Vahala and René Vahala TBA In development
Statesman TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Main films[edit]

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)[edit]

The first film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, is set over the course of two years, from 2014 to 2015. Having dropped out of training for the Royal Marines, becoming a stereotypical chav and being arrested for stealing a car, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin's release is arranged by Harry Hart, a Kingsman and his late father's colleague. Hart, a veteran spy of the secret organisation Kingsman, recruits Eggsy into the agency's competitive training program as a global threat emerges from a billionaire, Richmond Valentine.[2]

The concept of a The Secret Service adaptation originated when Millar and Vaughn were at a bar discussing spy movies, lamenting that the genre had become too serious and deciding to do "a fun one."[3] To have the time to make the film, Vaughn had to opt out of directing X-Men: Days of Future Past, which he called "a really tough decision".[3] He reasoned that if he did not do it, "somebody else ... [would] wake up and do a fun spy movie. Then I would have written a bloody screenplay that no one would want to make."[3] Colin Firth joined the cast to lead the film on 29 April 2013.[4] It was initially reported in 2013 that Leonardo DiCaprio was in talks to play a villain,[5] but Vaughn denied that he was ever considered.[6] Instead the role went to Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson took the role in part because of a careerlong dream to be in a James Bond movie. He felt that this was unlikely to come true and said, "I felt like this was an opportunity to play a really great Bond villain."[7] Jackson's character has a notable lisp, a choice he decided to make based partially on the stutter he had as a kid.[7] In September 2013, Vaughn cast Sophie Cookson as the female lead, preferring a newcomer over more obvious candidates like Emma Watson and Bella Heathcote.[8] Mark Hamill was cast as Professor James Arnold, a reference to his character in the source comic book being himself.[9]

Principal photography began 6 October 2013 in Deepcut, Surrey,[10][11] on a budget reported to be one-third of the $200 million budget of Skyfall.[12] The Alexandra Road Estate in Camden[13] was used for Eggsy's home area, and some scenes were filmed at Imperial College London. The Black Prince Pub in Kennington, South London, was used for various fight scenes and the car chase. Savile Row in Mayfair was also employed as a location and the exterior of tailors Huntsman, which provided the clothes, and James Lock & Co. in St James's, which provided the hats.[14] Elton John was rumoured to have a role in the film.[15][16] Although this would prove untrue, John would appear in the film's sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Kingsman: The Secret Service was released in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2015.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)[edit]

The second film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) is set over the course of one week. When Kingsman's headquarters are destroyed, their agents discover an allied spy organisation in the United States, the Statesman. The two join forces to defeat a common enemy in order to save the world.[17]

Near the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Millar and Vaughn said a sequel was possible if the first film performed well at the box office, and Vaughn expressed interest in directing the sequel.[18][19] Vaughn also noted that he had hoped to have Firth in the sequel, but it was later reported that Firth would not be returning.[20][21]

On 29 April 2015, Fox announced that a sequel was in production, but that it was unclear if Vaughn would direct due to his interest in directing a Flash Gordon film.[22] On 11 June 2015, Vaughn told Yahoo that he had begun writing the sequel'a script and that he might direct.[23] In September 2015, Millar reiterated that the sequel was in development and that Vaughn was looking for ways to bring Firth back without sacrificing the story's integrity. Later that month, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Egerton had also signed on for the Robin Hood: Origins franchise, which would begin shooting in February 2016; Egerton's schedule was accordingly in conflict with the Kingsman sequel. But in mid-October it was confirmed that the scheduling issues had been settled between both studios. Lionsgate planned to begin Robin Hood's production right after Egerton wrapped filming on Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was expected to begin production in April 2016.[24]

On 17 February 2016, it was revealed that Julianne Moore was in negotiations to play the film's villain.[25] On 10 March 2016, Halle Berry was cast as the head of the CIA.[26] Her role later turned out as that of Statesman's tech support. In late March, Vaughn confirmed Berry's and Moore's casting, as well as the title, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. On 8 April 2016, Pedro Pascal was cast as Jack Daniels.[27] The same day, a promotional poster was released featuring Firth's character's glasses, confirming his return;[28] Firth's return was officially confirmed on 11 July 2016.[29] Channing Tatum confirmed his casting on his Twitter account, while Variety confirmed that Elton John was in talks for a role.[30] In late April, Vaughn said of the sequel, "writing this was the hardest thing I've ever done."[31] Jeff Bridges was added to the cast on 28 May 2016.[32] Vinnie Jones announced on Twitter that he had been cast in a role.[33]

Principal photography on the film began on 15 May 2016 in Birmingham.[34][35][36] Filming also took place in Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. On 13 September 2016, Kingsman: The Golden Circle completed initial filming.[37] Additional footage was shot in London in December 2016.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle was originally scheduled for release on June 16, 2017, by 20th Century Fox, but was pushed back to October 6.[38] Then it was pushed up from October 6 to September 22. The film was given an IMAX release.[39] It eventually opened in the UK on September 20.

Kingsman 3 (TBA)[edit]

In May 2017, Vaughn stated that a sequel to The Golden Circle is currently in development, adding that he and co-writer Goldman mapped out the plot during production on the second film.[40] Vaughn later stated that his personal choice for the role of the villain is Dwayne Johnson.[41] By June 2018, the filmmaker announced that the third movie would be filmed back-to-back with a prequel, serving as "the conclusion of the Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship". Colin Firth and Taron Egerton will both reprise their roles from previous films. Vaughn stated production is scheduled to begin some time between late 2019 and early 2020.[42][43][44][45] In the September 2020 issue of Empire, the film was provisionally subtitled Kingsman: The Blue Blood.[46]

Spin-off films[edit]

Kingsman: The Great Game (2021)[edit]

In June 2018, Vaughn announced that a prequel film, with the working title Kingsman: The Great Game, was in active development, stating that the plot would take place during the early 1900s and depict the formation of the spy agency, and that the project would be filmed back-to-back with "the third regular Kingsman film".[42][43] In September 2018, it was announced that Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson would star in the prequel.[47] In October 2018, it was rumored that Rachel Weisz and Brad Pitt were being considered for roles in the film.[48] In November 2018, it was revealed that Daniel Brühl, Charles Dance, Rhys Ifans, and Matthew Goode would co-star in the film.[49] The film will reportedly be a period drama stylistically, and will explore the formation of the Kingsman tailors and agency, with the log-line for the film being "The man who would be Kingsman."[49] In June 2019, the film's official title was announced to be The King's Man.[50]

The King's Man is scheduled for release on February 12, 2021 by 20th Century Studios. [51][52]

Statesman (TBA)[edit]

In September 2017, Vaughn revealed that a spin-off film of Kingsman: The Golden Circle revolving around the Statesman, an American secret agent organization, was in early development. The film's working title was announced to be Statesman.[53] In June 2018, Vaughn announced his new film studio along with several projects in development including Statesman, confirming that Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry would reprise their roles in the film.[42]

Short film[edit]

Archer (2017)[edit]

On July 20, 2017, Fox released an animated crossover short film between Kingsman and Archer, titled #TBT: That Time Archer Met Kingsman, featuring Eggsy and Sterling Archer.[54] The short was unveiled at the 2017 Comic-Con’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle panel in Hall H, following Eggsy as he discovers Archer to have stumbled into the Kingsman's secret arsenal hidden in the bespoke suit shop, helping himself to guns and alcohol. Fighting to reclaim the goods, Eggsy challenges Archer to "the most gentlemanly of competitions": a drinking contest, while planning to kill him with a drugged glass; Archer instead drinks the bottle and passes out. Eggsy, insulted by Archer's behaviour, vows to go to America and "teach them a lesson". Taron Egerton and H. Jon Benjamin respectively reprise their roles as Eggsy Unwin and Sterling Archer.[55]

Television[edit]

In June 2018, upon announcing his new film studio, Vaughn revealed that an eight-episode Kingsman television series was in early development.[42]

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

List indicator(s)
This table shows the recurring characters and the actors who have portrayed them throughout the franchise.
A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
A Y indicates an appearance as a younger version of a pre-existing character.
A C indicates a cameo appearance.
A V indicates a voice-only role.
An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or audio.
Cast of Kingsman films
Characters Original series Spin-offs Short film
Kingsman:
The Secret Service
Kingsman:
The Golden Circle
Kingsman:
The Blue Blood
The King's Man Statesman Archer
2014 2017 TBA 2020 TBA 2017
Gary “Eggsy” Unwin
Galahad
Taron Egerton
Alex NikolovY
Taron Egerton Taron EgertonV
Harry Hart
Galahad
Colin Firth
Crown Princess
Tilde of Sweden
Hanna Alström
Roxanne “Roxy” Morton
Lancelot
Sophie Cookson
Hamish Mycroft
Merlin
Mark Strong
Charles “Charlie” Hesketh Edward Holcroft
Liam Thomas Turgoose
Jamal Tobi Bakare
Michelle Unwin Samantha Womack Samantha WomackC
President of the
United States of America
Uncredited actor
(Barack Obama lookalike)
Bruce Greenwood
Richmond Valentine Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. JacksonA
Gazelle Sofia Boutella Sofia BoutellaA
Morten Lindström Bjørn Floberg Bjørn FlobergA
Leslie “Lee” Unwin
Lancelot
Jonno Davies Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Chester “Conrad” King
Arthur
Michael Caine Harris Dickinson
Professor James Arnold Mark Hamill
James Spencer
Lancelot
Jack Davenport
Elton John Himself
Ginger Ale
Agent Whiskey
Halle Berry Halle Berry[42]
Agent Tequila Channing Tatum Channing Tatum[42]
Champ
Champagne
Jeff Bridges Jeff Bridges[42]
Jack Daniels
Agent Whiskey
Pedro Pascal
Poppy Adams Julianne Moore
Augustin Edmonds
Arthur
Michael Gambon
Clara Von Gluckfberg Poppy Delevingne
Arthur Asquith, Duke of Oxford Painting Ralph Fiennes
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
Arthur
Charles Dance
Mata Hari Gemma Arterton
Grigori Rasputin Rhys Ifans
Tristan Matthew Goode
George V Tom Hollander
Wilhelm II
Nicholas II
Neil Kenlock Djimon Hounsou
Gavrilo Princip Robert Aramayo
Ryan Murfan John Gallagher Jr.
Sterling Malory Archer
Duchess
H. Jon BenjaminV

Crew[edit]

Crew of Kingsman films
Film Credit
Composers Cinematographer Editor(s) Production companies Distributing company Running time
Kingsman: The Secret Service Henry Jackman
Matthew Margeson
George Richmond Jon Harris
Eddie Hamilton
Marv Films
TSG Entertainment
Cloudy Productions
Twentieth Century Fox
20th Century Fox 2hrs 9mins
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Eddie Hamilton Marv Films
TSG Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox
Shangri-La Entertainment
2hrs 21mins
The King's Man

Dominic Lewis
Matthew Margeson

Ben Davis Jason Ballantine Marv Films
Marv Studios
Cloudy Productions
20th Century Studios
20th Century Studios TBA

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The first film - Kingsman: The Secret Service originated when Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn were at a bar discussing spy movies, lamenting that the genre had become too serious over the years and deciding to do "a fun one."[3] To have the time to make the film, Vaughn had to opt out of directing X-Men: Days of Future Past, which he called "a really tough decision".[3] He reasoned that if he did not do it, "somebody else ... [would] wake up and do a fun spy movie. Then I would have written a bloody screenplay that no one would want to make."[3] Colin Firth joined the cast to lead the film on 29 April 2013.[4] It was initially reported in 2013 that Leonardo DiCaprio was in talks to play a villain,[5] although Vaughn himself later denied that he was ever considered, stating that he came as close to playing the role "as I am to becoming the Pope."[6] Instead the role of the villain went to Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson took the role in part because of a career-long dream to be in a James Bond movie. As he felt that this was unlikely to come true, he took on the role, stating "I felt like this was an opportunity to play a really great Bond villain."[7] Jackson's character has a notable lisp, which was partially inspired by the stutter he had during his childhood.[7] In September 2013, Vaughn cast Sophie Cookson for the female lead, preferring a newcomer over more obvious candidates like Emma Watson and Bella Heathcote.[8] Mark Hamill was cast as Professor James Arnold, a reference to his character in the source comic book being named "Mark Hamill".[9]

Millar and Vaughn stated that a sequel was possible if the first film performs well at the box office, and Vaughn expressed interest in directing the sequel.[19][56] Vaughn also noted that he hoped to have Firth back in the sequel, and that Strong was interested in returning as well.[57][58] It was confirmed that Taron Egerton was contracted for the sequel.[59] When asked how they would incorporate Firth's character into the sequel, Millar stated that various ideas have been discussed, including giving Harry Hart an evil brother, or perhaps turning the character into a ghost. Fox announced a sequel was in the works, but it was unclear if Vaughn would return to direct.[60] On 11 June 2015, it was confirmed Vaughn had begun writing the sequel, and that he might return to direct it.[61][62] Principal photography was set to begin in April 2016, with a 6 October 2017 release date.[63][64] It was reported that Julianne Moore was in talks to star as the new villain, and Halle Berry might sign on as the Head of the CIA.[65][66] On 18 March 2016, Edward Holcroft was also confirmed to reprise his role as Charles "Charlie" Hesketh.[67] Vaughn later revealed the sequel's title to be Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The plot follows Eggsy and Merlin joining forces with "Statesman", their American counterpart after Kingsman was destroyed by the film's villain Poppy, played by Moore.[68] On 7 April 2016, Egerton revealed the first poster for the film, which strongly hinted that Firth would return for the film; the poster features Harry Hart's trademark pair of glasses with one of the lenses missing below the tagline (a borrowed quote from Mark Twain) stating "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."[69][70] Sophie Cookson will also reprise her role as Roxy Morton in the sequel.[71] The next day, Deadline reported that Pedro Pascal was in talks for the role of Jack Daniels.[72] On 12 April 2016, Elton John was in talks about joining the cast of the upcoming sequel. John would not be playing a character, but having screen time as himself.[73] The next day, Channing Tatum announced on his Twitter account that he was joining the cast. Tatum taking the role as Agent Tequila.[74][75]

Vaughn has stated that he and Goldman have a third Kingsman film planned.[76] Although Vaughn initially suggested the series would be a trilogy,[77] Mark Millar later confirmed at least two more films were in development.[78] In December 2017, Vaughn provided insight into his plans for the untitled third film.[79] He confirmed there would be one massive new addition to the cast, though he has not decided who would play the role yet. In March 2018, Vaughn confirmed he was still working on the script for the third film.[80] Although he did not reveal any new plot details, he said he has something big planned for it. In another interview, he teased the possible return of Mark Strong's Merlin, but did not confirm or deny the rumours.[81] Vaughn revealed to Empire that he's planning a Kingsman movie which would cap-off the "Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship" trilogy.[82] Kingsman 3 began filming in January 2019 for a November 8, 2019 release.[83]

A prequel to the franchise titled The King's Man is scheduled for release in 2020.[84] On November 9, 2018, Egerton confirmed he would not return for the prequel, however, he would still portray the character in future installments, saying "I don't know how hot off the press this is, and I think I'm allowed to say it, but I'm not in the next Kingsman movie. That doesn't mean I won't be in Kingsman ever again. I was with Matthew Vaughn as little as a few days ago, we're still very much in business together, but his next journey in that world doesn't involve me." Before adding "His idea for the new one is incredibly exciting," Egerton continued. "I'm sad that I won't be on that journey with him but it's not the last you've seen of Eggsy."[85] In May 2019, Vaughn told Digital Spy in an interview that "Kingsman 3" would be the final chapter of Hart and Eggsy.[84]

Vaughn revealed that a spin-off film of Kingsman: The Golden Circle revolving around the Statesman, an American secret agent organization, was in early development. The film's working title was announced to be Statesman.[53] In June 2018, Vaughn announced his new film studio along with several projects in development including Statesman, confirming that Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry would reprise their roles in the film.[42]

Reception[edit]

Box office performance of Kingsman films
Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Production budget Ref(s)
United States Outside United States North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
worldwide
Kingsman: The Secret Service February 13, 2015 (2015-02-13) January 30, 2015 (2015-01-30) $128,261,724 $286,089,822 $414,351,546 450 254 $81 million [86]
Kingsman: The Golden Circle September 22, 2017 (2017-09-22) September 20, 2017 (2017-09-20) $100,234,838 $310,667,824 $410,902,662 699 260 $104 million [87]
Total $228,496,562 $596,757,646 $825,254,208 $185 million [88]
Critical and audience reception of Kingsman films
Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Kingsman: The Secret Service 74% (258 reviews)[89] 60 (50 reviews)[2] B+[90]
Kingsman: The Golden Circle 51% (304 reviews)[91] 44 (44 reviews)[92] B+[90]

Music[edit]

Music from Kingsman films
Title U.S. release date Length Composer(s) Label
Kingsman: The Secret Service – Original Motion Picture Score[93] January 30, 2015 (2015-01-30) 57:27 Henry Jackman
Matthew Margeson
La-La Land
Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Original Motion Picture Score[94] September 22, 2017 (2017-09-22) 1:16:00 Fox Music

Оther media[edit]

Video games[edit]

In August 2017, it was confirmed that Kingsman: The Golden Circle would have a tie-in game to accompany its release, and that it would be a turn-based match-3 role-playing combat game, released on iOS and Android by the Korean mobile game company NHN PixelCube.[95] The game also includes characters from Kingsman: The Secret Service, and was released globally on 14 September 2017, about a week before the film's release.[96] Unlike the films, the game does not have graphic violence or explicit language, but it is classified a "12+" rating for "mild realistic violence".[97][98] In the days before the film's release, another mobile game based on the Kingsman franchise, simply titled Kingsman: The Secret Service, was announced to be in development also for iOS and Android, by American mobile game developer YesGnome. The game is a hybrid action adventure-construction simulator, where players construct impregnable secret bases, similar to Fallout Shelter, while infiltrating enemy bases in run-and-gun missions based on the plot of at least the first film.[99] The Android version remained in early access for many months.[100] The Golden Circle is free-to-play, offers in-app purchases, and supports online player-versus-player multiplayer, while The Secret Service is sold as a paid game.

Several months later after the launch of the tie-in mobile game for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, on April 24, 2018, it was announced that the game's servers will be shut down on May 23, 2018, after "careful consideration" and the game's poor player base.[101] Meanwhile, after many months in early access, Yesgnome's Kingsman: The Secret Service was finally released on May 1, 2019.[102]

Literature[edit]

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: The Official Movie Novelization, the novelization of the 2017 film Kingsman: The Golden Circle, written by Tim Waggoner, was released on September 22, 2017.[103]

Marketing[edit]

Luxury retailer Mr Porter has been a marketing partner of the franchise since the first film, when it worked with costume designer Arianne Phillips to design the bespoke suiting, while everything from the ties and shirts to eyewear, umbrellas, shoes and watches were designed by heritage brands such as Cutler and Gross, George Cleverley, Mackintosh, Bremont, and Adidas Originals. The collaboration is the first of its kind, making Kingsman: The Secret Service the first film from which customers can buy all of the outfits they see.[104][105] On 8 September 2017, Mr Porter opened its first Kingsman shop between Berry Bros. & Rudd and Lock & Co. Hatters on St James's Street in Central London. Both the Kingsman shop and Berry Bros. & Rudd were integral locations for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, while Lock & Co. was featured on the first film.[106]

In May 2017, TAG Heuer partnered with Fox to make the TAG Heuer Connected the official watch of the Kingsman agents.[107] In August 2017, Fox partnered with Old Forester to release a Statesman edition of their 95 proof Bourbon whiskey for the U.S. market.[108] In addition, GlenDronach released a Kingsman Edition 1991 of their Scotch whisky. Director Vaughn cited GlenDronach as his favourite scotch whisky brand, and the distillery used casks from 1991, as it is the fictional year of Eggsy's birth. Only 240 bottles have been allocated to the U.S. market, all of which are signed by Vaughn.[109] In addition, Berry Bros. & Rudd released a Kingsman edition of their No. 3 London Dry Gin.[110] In September 2017, Hard Rock Cafe introduced the "Poppy Burger" in their menu to promote The Golden Circle.[111]

Funko released Pop! Vinyl figures of Harry, Eggsy, Valentine, and Gazelle in 2017.[112]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In newer collected editions of the first volume of the series, the book The Secret Service was renamed after the film adaption Kingsman: The Secret Service and all references to MI6 were replaced by "Kingsman".

References[edit]

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