Something of a forgotten franchise in a crowded field, the Kingsman movies, 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, are still a fairly reliable source of roughly $400 million in worldwide box office receipts. These movies never make Marvel money, but who’s going to turn down a near half-billion? But, of course, at a certain point, a franchise must leave the kiddie table and make a billion dollars, leaving them with one option: cast Rhys Ifans as Rasputin.
In the series’ third outing, The King’s Man, which finally makes a possessive out of the tired Kingsman title, adds more big names to its already formidable alumni list. Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Goode, Gemma Arterton, Tom Hollander, and Charles Dance all joined up for the third super spy by way of dapper menswear series. And since we’re in Kingsmen origin story territory, writer-director Matthew Vaughn can introduce famous magicians who look an unsettlingly lot like Alan Moore, like Rhy Ifans’ Rasputin. Coincidentally, the original comic, The Secret Service, was created by Mark Millar and Moore’s Watchmen creative partner Dave Gibbons.
Set against the backdrop of World War I, The King’s Man follows Feinnes as he and a group of fancy British guys in impeccably tailored suits fight a cabal of “history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds.” Thankfully, that perfectly goofy plot matches Matthew Vaugh’s perfectly goofy visual style that Kingsman fans crave. Plus, it looks like there’s a giant in this one. He picks Ralph Feinnes up and is very big. We’re all looking forward to seeing the big boy.
The King’s Man faced several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reshoots, bouncing from November 15, 2019, to February 14, 2020, to September 18, 2020, and three separate moves in 2021. But barring any more world-ending catastrophes, The King’s Man hits theaters on December 22.