‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Director Begged the Studio Not to Reveal Colin Firth in the Trailer

Colin Firth’s character Harry Hart returns in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. That can hardly be considered a spoiler, as he’s featured prominently in every one of the movie’s trailers and most of its posters. But director Matthew Vaughn says that he really wishes Firth’s return wasn’t given away in the marketing.

In a new interview with IGN, Vaughn said that it was dumb to spoil the return of Harry Hart in the marketing for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In fact, he says that he actively tried to stop the studio from doing so.

“Well, I’m not in charge of marketing,” he said. “The thinking about that was stupidity, to be blunt. I begged the studio not to reveal it. Because it’s the whole driving force of the first act and if you didn’t know that scene it would’ve made the whole audience gasp. So you have to ask the lovely marketing guys because I think their job is to open the movie and don’t really care about the experience of the movie.”

Colin Firth shaving, wearing a white sweatshirt

Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Golden Circle | 20th Century Fox

Typically, a director has very little say in how a movie is marketed. All of the trailers, posters and TV spots are out of their hands, and it’s the job of the studio’s marketing department to sell the film, even if that requires giving away some of the surprises. In this case, clearly a decision was made at 20th Century Fox that enough people would come see The Golden Circle because of Colin Firth that it was worth spoiling his return.

Colin Firth’s character, of course, is apparently killed in Kingsman: The Secret Service, being shot in the head at the end of the second act. There’s very little ambiguity about the fact that he’s dead, but the very first poster ever released for The Golden Circle reveals that he’s still alive; the poster was a picture of Harry’s glasses with text that read, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

In addition, the first trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle ends with the reveal that Harry is still alive, and all of the subsequent trailers show him as part of the action as if there never was any question about his return. However, the movie itself begins with the audience still believing that Harry is dead, and finding out he’s alive is meant to be a shocking moment. Unfortunately, no one will experience that shock this weekend the way Matthew Vaughn intended, as even if they avoided every trailer for the film, they’d still probably catch a glimpse of Colin Firth on the poster on the way into the theater.

Colin Firth on the poster for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. | 20th Century Fox

This calls to mind director Alan Taylor criticizing the trailer for his own movie Terminator Genisys. The advertising for that 2015 reboot gave away a massive twist about Jason Clarke’s character that isn’t revealed until over halfway through the film. The director said at the time that he fought against spoiling this surprise in the trailers.

“Yeah, it’s funny,” Taylor told Uproxx. “I certainly directed those scenes with the intention that no one would know…I had a few heads ups and a few unpleasant conversations where I squawked about this or that.”

To be fair to 20th Century Fox, though, Matthew Vaughn was hinting that Harry Hart would be back since the week the first Kingsman opened.

“A lot of people are very upset that Colin might not be in the sequel but I’m coming up with ideas at the moment,” Vaughn said in February 2015. “If people buy tickets in America, I’ve got a feeling we’ll figure out a way for having Colin back.”