Kingsman (franchise)

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The current logo of the franchise.
Publication information
Comic series
Film series
Format Limited series
Genre Spy
Publication date 2012 – 2013
Main character(s)
Comic series
  • Gary "Eggsy" London
  • Jack London
Film series
  • Gary "Eggsy" Unwin
  • Harry Hart
Creative team
Written by Mark Millar
Artist(s) Dave Gibbons

Kingsman is a British-American media franchise focused on the fictional organisation "Kingsman", which originally appeared in a UK-made spy action-comedy comic book series written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, colored by Angus McKie, edited by Nicole Wiley Boose, published by Icon Comics, an imprint of American published Marvel Comics. Volume 1 of this series, released in 2012, deals with a super-spy recruiting his young nephew to the secret service, channeling the classic James Bond films, and other spy thrillers. The first volume of the series was originally known simply as The Secret Service and was rebranded to tie-in with the 2014 film of the same name.[NB 1]

The comic series is set in Mark Millar's shared universe, the "Millarverse"; with the celebrity kidnappings taking place in Kingsman Vol. 1 being referenced in Kick-Ass 3 #8.[1] A stand-alone sequel set in both the continuity of the original comic and that of the film series, subtitled The Big Exit, was released in the September/October 2017 issue of Playboy Magazine, by Rob Williams with art from Ozgur Yildirim. The second volume of Kingsman, subtitled The Red Diamond, was released through Image Comics in September 2017. A feature film loosely based on The Secret Service, directed by Matthew Vaughn and co-written by Jane Goldman, was released in February 2015. The film stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, Jack Davenport, and Mark Hamill.[2] A sequel to this film, subtitled The Golden Circle, was released in September 2017.

Comic series[edit]

Kingsman Vol. 1 – The Secret Service[edit]

Kingsman Vol. 1 The Secret Service - Collected Edition (2012)
Cover art by Dave Gibbons.

An unknown group of terrorists capture Mark Hamill, a famous Hollywood actor, who is held against his will at a cabin in the mountains in Switzerland. A man shows up and identifies himself as a British secret service agent, and rescues Hamill. They are unsuccessfully pursued by terrorists on snowmobiles. As Hamill and the agent reach the edge of a cliff, they jump off with a parachute, but it turns out to be a misfortune as the parachute opens up too late and both of them crash to their deaths.

Sir Giles, the head of Kingsman, discusses the matter with one of his agents, Jack London, as there have been several kidnappings of famous celebrities which are believed to be linked to each other. Suddenly, Jack receives a call from his sister-in-law, who tells him that her son, Eggsy, was arrested by the police for smashing up a stolen car and that Jack needs to bail him out. Jack, at first, opposes the idea, but reluctantly uses his national security card to get the boy out of prison.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, a massive murder takes place during a wedding ceremony when brides and grooms slaughter each other. This is later revealed to be controlled by Dr. James Arnold, a very wealthy cellphone entrepreneur, as a test for his upcoming evil schemes. Jack is briefed about the assignment hours later, which he declines temporarily in favor of a "family reunion."

Uncle Jack, seeing the potential in Eggsy, takes him under his wing and reveals his true occupation, rather than the Fraud Squad officer story he has told his family. He offers Eggsy a chance to do something useful instead of wasting his life in the back-alleys and hanging out with thugs. Eggsy accepts and Uncle Jack takes him to a secret training facility, where he is introduced to his training officer, Rupert Greaves. Eggsy resides in the facility for three years while training as a secret agent.

Greaves reports to Sir Giles about the progress of trainee agents at the facility, and the fact that the results coming from Eggsy's records are excellent. However, Greaves states that he is yet to pull an assassination job off in cold blood. Sometime later, Eggsy has been assigned to go undercover with a colleague to kill an unknown number of street thugs, which he performs very successfully, saving his colleague's life in the process.

The team of trainees is sent to a nightclub to prove their abilities being persuasive, by seducing women. All of the men appear in fancy suits, except for Eggsy, who dresses in very casual clothing. They are given transmitting pens to contact each other with. All of them succeed, with the exception of Eggsy, who listens via the pen as his colleagues talk about his background and inability to become fit for service with his plebeian behavior. He disappears in a rage.

Eggsy steals his uncle's gadget-laden car and runs off to his former neighborhood to collect his former mates. He is pursued by the police for violating traffic laws. After his arrest, Jack bails him out and decides to find out the truth behind the matter. Knowing all about the disgrace his nephew has been through, Jack tells Eggsy that things are done to keep the world safe, and not to earn fame and conduct. He offers Eggsy a chance to return to the training, and he agrees, only to be tranquilized by Jack.

Eggsy wakes up in Colombia, wearing nothing but an earpiece, through which Jack demands that he use his instincts to get out of that country and return to British soil within twenty-four hours, or he will be dropped from the program. Jack gives Eggsy the coordinates of his passport and flight ticket. Eggsy subdues a policeman, stealing his clothes and car to get to the coordinates, which appears to be a mansion of a Colombian drug lord. Taking the policeman's machine-guns, he kills all the guards and apprehends the drug lord.

Twelve hours later, the Kingsman team are expecting Eggsy to arrive, who does so in a private jet that belonged to the drug lord. Eggsy has brought the drug lord with him so that he can be arrested. Jack takes Eggsy under his wing again and takes him to his tailor, where Eggsy finally becomes the man his uncle was hoping for him to be, a gentleman secret agent of Kingsman.

When Eggsy pays his mother a visit at her boyfriend's flat, he finds her beaten up for setting up a welcoming party for her son. Outraged, Eggsy storms to the pub where his mother's boyfriend is hanging out with his gang. Eggsy beats them all to near death. Uncle Jack then helps him rent a very respectful apartment for his mother and younger brother to reside in.

Both uncle and nephew team up in Cannes, where they have tracked down Dr. Arnold, who was seemingly planning to abduct film director Ridley Scott. While there, Jack seduces Arnold's girlfriend to get information, learning that Arnold plans to save only a few people that he admires, mostly celebrities, and will use a satellite signal to make the rest of humanity slaughter each other. Eggsy witnesses all this through a shared video device worn as sunglasses. Suddenly, Jack is shot in the eye by Arnold's henchman, Gazelle, and dies.

Horrified by his uncle's death, Eggsy goes back to the training facility to talk to his training officer, Greaves, who tells him that the killer's intention wasn't to murder a spy, but rather kill the man cheating with his girlfriend. Greaves abruptly reveals that he is working for Dr. Arnold himself. He has recruited numerous rogue agents, offering Eggsy a place on Dr. Arnold's team. When Eggsy rejects the offer, Greaves attempts to poison him, but Eggsy has switched their drinks, classifying it as "a second nature" just before Greaves dies.

Knowing that Greaves was going to head to Dr. Arnold's lair, and unaware of which higher-level members of Kingsman were in association with Greaves, Eggsy recruits the trainees to an assault mission. Following the coordinates programmed in Greaves' plane, they land at Olympus, the lair hidden inside a mountain in Switzerland. They ambush and battle the troops, freeing the celebrities in the process, including Pierce Brosnan, Patrick Stewart and David Beckham. Eggsy also engages in a fist fight with Gazelle, who reveals he was formerly a Kingsman agent. He eventually defeats Gazelle and heads to the main control section where Dr. Arnold is.

Dr. Arnold activates the satellite signal and waits for the people to slaughter each other, but one of Eggsy's colleagues, a computer expert, has changed the frequencies. The new signal causes everyone to be overcome with love instead of hate. The mission is a success and in revenge for his Uncle Jack's death, Eggsy shoots Dr. Arnold in the head, who indicates that he does not know either Jack nor Eggsy.

The original cover of The Secret Service before the series was re-titled.

In the epilogue, Eggsy reads his uncle's will; in the will Jack reveals that two-thirds of his estate will go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the British Heart Foundation, with the final third going to Eggsy's mother. His last words in the post-script tell Eggsy to take good care of his gadget-laden car, or he will "come back and bloody haunt him." As Eggsy reports to Kingsman Headquarters, Sir Giles briefs him about a mission that concerns "trouble in Moscow".


  • Jack London: Also known as Uncle Jack, works for the British government under the Kingsman (originally MI6) affiliation. He is ranked as the top agent for thirty years, operating overseas. His cover occupation enlisted him as a Fraud Squad officer, a position which allows him to bail his nephew, Gary, out of jail on several occasions.
  • Gary "Eggsy" London: The protagonist of the story, originally known only as Gary, Eggsy is Jack's nephew, who used to live recklessly until his uncle recruited him to the Kingsman training facility. Gary faces a little trouble coping with the new lifestyle but manages to succeed in becoming the gentleman secret agent his uncle wanted him to be.
  • Dr. James Arnold: The main antagonist of the story, a very successful cellphone entrepreneur, who became the "127th richest man in the world" at a very young age. Using his knowledge, he schemes to provoke a holocaust by controlling people's minds through network satellites, only saving the ones he admires, most of them being celebrities.
  • Rupert Greaves: The MI6 training facility officer, is a veteran agent himself, and a lifelong operative educating and evaluating newcomers.
  • Gazelle: Dr. Arnold's personal henchman, who is a dark-skinned muscleman with bionic legs. He is later revealed to be an ex-Kingsman agent.
  • Sir Giles: The head of Kingsman, is often seen contacting Jack through a network device or meeting him in person.
  • Ambrosia Chase: Dr. Arnold's girlfriend, who only chose to be with him for his money. She later regrets the relationship as Dr. Arnold's plan unfolds and cheats on him, for which she is killed by one of Arnold's henchmen without remorse.

Kingsman: The Big Exit[edit]

A sequel set in the continuity of the original comic and the film series titled Kingsman: The Big Exit was published on Playboy Magazine. The comic is marketed as being set in the Millarverse but follows Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, the film series' protagonist, rather than Gary "Eggsy" London, the comic series' protagonist.[3]

Kingsman Vol. 2 – The Red Diamond[edit]

Kingsman: The Red Diamond is the direct sequel to the original Kingsman: The Secret Service comic written by creator Mark Millar and published by Image Comics rather than Icon Comics. This six-part miniseries follows Eggsy and other Kingsman agents on a rescue mission to save Prince Philip and unravel an international terror plot commandeered by the mysterious organisation "The Red Diamond".[4]

Film series[edit]

Kingsman: The Secret Service[edit]

The concept of a The Secret Service adaptation originated when Mark Millar and 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."[5] 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".[5] 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."[5] Colin Firth joined the cast to lead the film on 29 April 2013.[6] It was initially reported in 2013 that Leonardo DiCaprio was in talks to play a villain,[7] 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."[8] 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.” [9] Jackson's character has a notable lisp, a choice he decided to make based partially on the stutter he had as a kid.[9] In September 2013, Vaughn cast Sophie Cookson for the female lead, preferring a newcomer over more obvious candidates like Emma Watson and Bella Heathcote.[10] Mark Hamill was cast as Professor James Arnold, a reference to his character in the source comic book being himself.[11]

Principal photography began 6 October 2013 in Deepcut, Surrey,[12][13][14] on a budget reported to be one-third of the $200 million budget of Skyfall.[15] The Alexandra Road Estate in Camden[16] 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.[17] Elton John was rumoured to have a role in the film,[18][19] 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[edit]

Near the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn stated that a sequel would be possible if the first film was to perform well at the box office, and Vaughn expressed interest in directing the sequel.[20][21] Vaughn also noted that he had hoped to have Firth back in the sequel, though it was later reported that Firth would not be returning.[22][23]

On 29 April 2015, Fox announced that a sequel was in production, but that it was unclear if Vaughn would return to direct due to his interest in directing a Flash Gordon film.[24] On 11 June 2015, Vaughn told Yahoo that he had begun writing the script for the sequel and that he could be returning to direct.[25] 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 integrity of the story. 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. However, in mid-October, it was confirmed that the scheduling issues had been settled between both studios. Lionsgate plans to begin Robin Hood's production right after Egerton wraps filming on Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which was expected to begin production in April 2016.[26]

On 17 February 2016, it was revealed that Julianne Moore was in negotiations to play the villain role in the film.[27] On 10 March 2016, Halle Berry was cast to play the role of the head of the CIA.[28] 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 in the film as Jack Daniels.[29] On the same day, a promotional poster was released for the film featuring Firth's character's glasses confirming Firth's return for the film;[30] Firth's return was later officially confirmed on 11 July 2016.[31] Channing Tatum confirmed his casting through his Twitter account, while Variety confirmed that Elton John was in talks for a role.[32] In late April, Vaughn talked about writing the sequel, he stated "writing this was the hardest thing I've ever done."[33] Jeff Bridges was added to the cast on 28 May 2016.[34] Vinnie Jones announced on Twitter that he had been cast in a role.[35]

Principal photography on the film began on 15 May 2016 in Birmingham.[36][37][38] Filming also took place in Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. On 13 September 2016, Kingsman: The Golden Circle completed initial filming.[39] However, additional footage was filmed on location in London in December 2016.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle was originally scheduled for a summer release on June 16, 2017 by 20th Century Fox, but was pushed back from its original release date of June 16, 2017 to October 6, 2017.[40] The film was pushed up from October 6, 2017 to September 22, 2017. The film will have an IMAX release.[41] It eventually opened two days prior in the UK on September 20, 2017.


Kingsman 3[edit]

Vaughn revealed that he and Goldman have a third Kingsman film planned.[42] In the September 2017 edition of Total Film, Vaughn revealed that his personal choice for the role of the villain in Kingsman 3 is Dwayne Johnson.[43]


In an interview with Cinema Blend, Vaughn revealed that a spin-off film of Kingsman: The Golden Circle revolving around the American organization "Statesman", tentatively entitled Statesman, is in early stages of development.[44]


#TBT to That Time Archer Met Kingsman[edit]

On July 20, 2017, FOX released an animated crossover short film between Kingsman and Archer entitled #TBT to That Time Archer Met Kingsman, featuring Eggsy and Sterling Archer.[45] 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 respecitvely reprise their roles as Eggsy Unwin and Sterling Archer.[46]

Video game[edit]

In August 2017, it was confirmed that Kingsman: The Golden Circle will have a tie-in game to accompany its release, and it will be a turn-based match-3 role-playing combat game to be released on iOS and Android by the Korean mobile game company NHN Pixelcube.[47] The game will also include characters from Kingsman: The Secret Service. The game was released globally on September 14, 2017, about a week before the film's release.[48] Unlike the films, the game will not have any blood, gore or explicit language.[49][50]


Kingsman: The Golden Circle: The Official Movie Novelization, the novelisation of the 2017 film Kingsman: The Golden Circle, written by Tim Waggoner, was released on September 22, 2017.[51]

Old Forester Statesman[edit]

To coincide with the release of the Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Old Forester released a limited edition expression, Old Forester Statesman.


Kingsman Tea Sling
Statesman Tea Sling
Statesman Old Fashioned


Cast and crew[edit]

Principal 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.
Characters Films Short Films
The Secret Service
The Golden Circle
#TBT to That Time
Archer Met Kingsman
2015 2017
Gary "Eggsy" Unwin
Taron Egerton
Alex NikolovY
Taron Egerton Taron EgertonV
Harry Hart
Colin Firth
Crown Princess
Tilde of Sweden
Hanna Alström
Merlin Mark Strong
Roxanne "Roxy" Morton
Sophie Cookson
Charles "Charlie" Hesketh Edward Holcroft
Michelle Unwin Samantha Womack
Jamal Tobi Bakare
POTUS Unaccredited Actor (Barack Obama lookalike) Bruce Greenwood
Richmond Valentine Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. JacksonA
Gazelle Sofia Boutella Sofia BoutellaA
Chester King
Michael Caine
Dean Geoff Bell
Professor James Arnold Mark Hamill
James Spencer
Jack Davenport
Rufus Saville Jack Cutmore-Scott
Lady Sophie Lily Travers
Morten Lindström,
the Swedish Prime Minister
Bjørn Floberg
Lee Unwin
Jonno Davies
Digby Barker Nicholas Banks
Nathaniel Nicholas Agnew
Piers Rowan Polonski
Hugo Higins Tom Prior
Amelia Fiona Hampton
The Interrogator Richard Brake
Police Interviewer Ralph Ineson
Fanatic Church Leader Corey Johnson
The Biggest Goon Velibor Topic
Poppy Adams Julianne Moore
Ginger Ale Halle Berry
Tequila Channing Tatum
Jeff Bridges
Jack Daniels
Pedro Pascal
Elton John Himself
Chief of Staff Fox Emily Watson
Poppy's Personal Bodyguard Vinnie Jones
Sir Giles
Michael Gambon
Statesman Agent Matt Letscher
Clara Von Gluckfberg Poppy Delevingne
Angel Tom Benedict Knight
Sterling Malory Archer
H. Jon BenjaminV


  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". Additionally, the character "Gary"'s name was changed to "Eggsy" to be more in line with the film version of the character.


  1. ^ "Mark Millar Explains How All The Millarworld Books Tie-In Together - Wanted, Kick Ass, Jupiter's Legacy, Superior, Nemesis, MPH, Supercrooks And More - But No News Yet On The Unfunnies (UPDATE) - Bleeding Cool News And Rumors". 6 August 2014. 
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  3. ^ Feature: Kingsman: The Big Exit, By Rob Williams with Illustration by Özgür Yildirim - September 7, 2017 - Playboy - Entertainment for All
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  35. ^ "Vinnie Jones on Twitter". 
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  40. ^ Relations, Exhibitor (23 November 2016). "KINGSMAN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE has been reassigned to fall duty instead of summer: October 6, 2017 is in, June 16 is out". 
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  43. ^ Total Film - September 2017
  44. ^ "How Many Kingsman Movies Matthew Vaughn Plans To Make". 19 September 2017. 
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External links[edit]