After 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and its 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, director Matthew Vaughn is about to take his spy saga into a whole new era. With the upcoming prequel The King’s Man, the third installment in the series will explore the origins of the spy agency against the backdrop of World War I, leaving Harry Hart and Eggsy behind (for now) and introducing an entirely different generation of heroes: Ralph Fiennes’ Oxford, Harris Dickinson as his son Conrad, Djimon Hounsou’s butler Shola and Gemma Arterton’s Polly.
Check them out in exclusive new images featured in the upcoming Empire issue of Movie Playlist.
As Kingsman delves into the series’ history – set about a century before the previous films and involving real-life characters and events like Rasputin and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand – it also delves into the future of the franchise.
“We’ve laid the groundwork for what’s going to happen in Kingsman 3, all the way through,” Vaughn confirms. “And it’s going to be very different.” After initially planning to leave the third Harry Hart-Eggsy adventure in the hands of another director, Vaughn is now considering directing this next installment himself.
“I don’t really know what I want to do,” he says. “There’s an opportunity for a director to really change it, but I’m considering it.”
On the other hand, the future of the series could include an alternate version of The King’s Man, as Vaughn announces a longer cut that includes some of the cruder gags the series has long been known for but which were removed in the theatrical cut of the prequel, suggesting a new tone for this outing.
“I cut so much out of this movie that there will be a longer 40-minute version,” he reveals. “I’m going to do the King’s Man Vaughn cut. I’ve got some damn dirty jokes in there.”