Peek into the UK’s secret history in The King’s Man trailer

Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson star in the espionage prequel.


Charles Bramesco


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

Tags: Aaron Taylor-Johnson Daniel Brühl Djimon Hounsou Gemma Arterton Harris Dickinson Liam Neeson Ralph Fiennes Rhys Ifans Stanley Tucci Tom Hollander

Suggested For You

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

By Adam Woodward

Matthew Vaughn’s disastrous spy spoofing sequel is the film Brexit Britain (probably) deserves.



By Charles Bramesco

Elton John gets the paint-by-numbers biopic treatment in this jumble of troubled-genius clichés.


Kingsman: The Secret Service

By Adam Woodward

Matthew Vaughn grabs the traditional spy movie by its tailored shirt and gives it a good slap.


Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.