The two Kingsman films released in 2014 and 2017 respectively proved extremely popular with critics – but the next film in the franchise is taking rather a different approach.
The King’s Man is a prequel to the Kingsman franchise, telling the origin story of the intelligence agency with a new cast – meaning stars Colin Firth and Taron Egerton will not be returning for this instalment.
There’s plenty of star power elsewhere however, with a killer cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Djimon Hounsou.
With the film one of many to have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, there have been a few changes to the release date – read on for everything you need to know about Kingsman prequel The King’s Man.
When is The King’s Man released in cinemas?
The King’s Man was originally earmarked for a released in UK cinemas on 16th September 2020, which was then pushed back until 26th February 2021, but now the film has been brought forward a fortnight, to 12th February 2021.
This is not the first time the film has been delayed – it was first slated for a 2019 release before moving to February 2020 and then September.
Who is in the cast of The King’s Man?
Franchise lead Taron Egerton (who plays young agent Eggsy) has ruled himself out of the latest instalment, telling Yahoo Movies UK in November 2018, “That doesn’t mean I won’t be in Kingsman ever again. I was with Matthew [Vaughn] as little as a few days ago, we’re still very much in business together, but his next journey in that world doesn’t involve me.”
He added: “I’m sad that I won’t be on that journey with him but it’s not the last you’ve seen of Eggsy.”
With the prequel set in the early 1900s, Colin Firth is also unlikely to reprise his role as Harry Hart, but Vaughn has assembled a stellar cast to replace them:
Leading The King’s Man will be Ralph Fiennes (best known as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and ‘M’ in Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die) as an early Kingsman agent, who takes young soldier Conrad (Harris Dickinson) under his wing in what the first trailer suggests is a 1900s version of the Eggsy/Harry Hart relationship.
Joining the pair are Gemma Arterton (as a gun-toting character named Polly), Djimon Hounsou (as Shola, who by the looks of the trailer has a hand in training new Kingsman recruits), Matthew Goode (as Tristan), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Lee Unwin), and Rhys Ifans (Rasputin).
Also on board in undisclosed roles are: Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci, Daniel Brühl and Charles Dance.
Is there a trailer for The King’s Man?
A teaser trailer for The King’s Man was released last year, shortly followed by a longer second trailer which revealed more information about the intelligence agency and Gemma Arterton’s character.
A third trailer was released in June 2020, shedding more light on our protagonist’s enemies – a group of criminal masterminds and history’s worst tyrants who are plotting a “war to wipe out millions”.
The new clip also gives us a better look at Rhys Ifans as Russian womanizer Rasputin. We see the villain fight the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and Conrad (Harris Dickinson) before Polly (Gemma Arterton) saves the day by shooting Rasputin’s sword out of his hand.
What is The King’s Man about?
The film’s official synopsis is rather ambiguous:
“As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man.”
The trailer reveals a few more clues. Set in WWI, the first footage throws up some major historical figures – like Tsar Nicholas II, Rasputin and Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It also gives us plenty of footage of Conrad’s induction into the Kingsman intelligence agency, via the guidance of Fiennes’ gentlemanly character and assisted by Gemma Arterton’s servant-turned-spy.
We spotted a glimpse of some familiar locations, too, from the Kingsman mansion, where new recruits are trained, to the organisation’s Savile Row front, with a selection of modern attire…
… and wartime regalia:
Why was The King’s Man delayed?
Though no official reason has been given for the delays, it’s likely Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is to blame rather than the quality of the film.
The first delay was announced while the deal between the two studios was yet to be finalised, while the second one is part of what looks like a larger strategy to accommodate Disney and its many subsidiaries’ huge slate of upcoming films.
The 14th February release date was already quite crowded, with Sonic The Hedgehog and Fantasy Island also landing on Valentine’s Day, so it makes sense for Disney to have pushed the film back so as to have less competition.
The King’s Man is not the only film whose release date was affected by the merger. The seemingly ill-fated The New Mutants was pushed back from 13th April 2018 to February 2019, then again to 2nd August 2019 before eventually being released in September 2020.
Will there be any more Kingsman films?
Oh, yes. Kingman 3 will see Firth and Egerton reprise their roles for what is being billed as the conclusion to the Eggsy/Harry relationship. That instalment is yet to get a release date.
There are also reports of a spin-off film to Kingsman: The Golden Circle which introduced an international network of Kingsman agents. With a working title of Statesman, it is rumoured to see Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry reprise their roles.
In November 2018, Vaughn also announced details of an eight-hour Kingsman TV series, although details of that project are yet to be fully revealed.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.