The recent series of Kingsman spy pictures have met with robust grosses and wide-spanning popularity, and yet the two installments have left so many questions unanswered. What were Eggsy’s parents thinking when they landed on that name? What’s with the note of faint homoeroticism in what’s supposed to be a paternal relationship between Eggsy and Harry? And where did all this – the secret order, their Savile Row headquarters, their mission – come from?
A new prequel titled The King’s Man will answer that last question, turning the calendars back to the dawn of the 20th century to depict the conception and founding of Kingsman. The title, sources close to the project have revealed, is a play on words.
Harris Dickinson (of Beach Rats fame, last seen at Cannes dabbing in Xavier Dolan‘s new film Matthias and Maxime) and Ralph Fiennes bring the Eggsy-Harry dynamic to the 1900s, where the younger man plays a fictitious apprentice to the great soldier and adventurer T.E. Lawrence. The so-called “Lawrence of Arabia” appears here in dashing form as a hero convinced that he can best serve his native England not in the Army, but through covert means.
He, the young Conrad, and a cabal of other notable names from UK history band together to form an underground organization dedicated to keeping the world free from harm — think the Avengers, but with stiffer upper lips and tea breaks. Among their ranks: scorched-earth military man Herbert Kitchener (Liam Neeson), Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans), and famed double agent Mata Hari (Gemma Arterton).
The staggering cast list also collects Daniel Brühl, Matthew Goode, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tom Hollander, and Djimon Hounsou to portray assorted historical figures. Most curiously, in what might be a giveaway for a clever running joke, Hollander appears slated to portray England’s King George V, Russian emperor Nicholas II, and Germany’s kaiser Wilhelm II. Reckon he’s just got one of those leader-of-men faces.
From the look of the newly released trailer below, this prequel will take a more self-serious tone than the laddish, rowdy Kingsman films proper. One may safely assume that the newest film in the franchise will not conclude with a slow zoom directly into a tertiary character’s derriere.
The King’s Man is set for release on 14 February, 2020.
Published 15 Jul 2019
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