‘The King’s Man’ Trailer Confuses, Clarifies, Then Delights

Among the flurry of trailers for upcoming 2020 releases we’ve seen this summer, moviegoers were given a taste of another action movie hitting theaters next February. At first glance, The King’s Man looks like a film about war, secrets, and “nobility.” And it is, with some caveats.

Its title confused some fans who weren’t sure if it’s supposed to be part 3 in the Kingsman franchise. Fortunately, all things were made clear by the end of the teaser trailer.

'The King's Man'
‘The King’s Man’ | 20th Century Fox

‘The King’s Man’ is a prequel

Okay, so yes, it is part of the Kingsman franchise. When Taron Egerton faced off against Samuel Jackson as a spy trainee in 2014 Kingsman: The Secret Service, critics didn’t sing its praises, but fans found it to be a violent, weirdly fun ride. The movie struck gold at the box office. That justified a sequel with Egerton and Colin Firth reprising their roles as Eggsy and Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Instead of picking up where The Golden Circle left off, The King’s Man takes place years before the events of Kingsman: The Secret Service and serves as the origin story for the intelligence agency. Ralph Fiennes stars as the Duke of Oxford, the agent who recruits Conrad, played by Harris Dickinson. Watch Conrad embark on a new journey after being injured:

This one looks serious. Swords. Explosions. Tyrants. Fans are used to the banter and ridiculous-but-intriguing storylines in the Kingsman franchise, but compared to the previous movies, The King’s Man feels like a historical drama. We’ll bite though. Dickinson will surely learn the other ways to do his duty once he steps inside that haberdashery storefront. A short description sums it up:

“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.”

Along for the ride is Rhys Ifans as Rasputin, Gemma Arterton as Mata Hari, and Daniel Brühl as Felix Yusupov. Tunnel back through time and you’ll be reminded that Yusupov was behind Rasputin’s assassination. That should make for interesting cinema in The King’s Man. As for Fiennes? His Duke of Oxford is also T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia, Polygon reports. Who shall we see square off?

‘Kingsman 3’ is still in the works

While fans won’t be seeing Egerton or Firth in The King’s Man, rest assured that there is still another sequel on the way. Matthew Vaughn, director/writer of the Kingsman franchise, told Digital Spy that the Eggsy-Harry story has to be closed out, and the fourth movie will do that.  

Vaughn hopes to begin production on Kingsman 3 by early next year, but it’s unclear whether it will be before or after the release of The King’s Man on February 14, 2020. The series—based on a comic book—was a surprise success, and fans can also look forward to a Statesmen spinoff with Halle Berry. If Vaughn has his way, there will be some crossover between the Kingsman stories and Kick-Ass. We’re down for all of these heroes to come together.