Over the past decade, one of the most popular series of action movies has been the Kingsman series, coming after James Bond and Mission Impossible’s lunch in an explosive, comedy heavy, action-shot filled and British spy thriller way.
With the success of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, it’s no surprise that the series isn’t just getting a threequel, but it’s also getting a prequel – and a lot sooner than that third movie in the series. The King’s Man is that prequel, directed by Matthew Vaughn (the brain behind the Kingsman movies).
The King’s Man released last month (after being delayed a number of times, with an initial release date slated for 2019, then several dates across 2020 and then finally super early in 2022), and it’s still showing at some cinemas around Australia. On Friday, Disney told us the flick is booked for streaming on Disney+ on February 23.
So what do you need to know about The King’s Man before you give it a watch? It’s not all that complicated – but it is an origin story more than anything else. Here’s everything you need to know about The King’s Man.
The King’s Man trailers
Five trailers have been released for The King’s Man. For spoiler reasons, we recommend actually not watching all of them, if you don’t want the action scenes of the movie ruined for you before you stream it on Disney+. It looks like, with this many trailers, they ran out of stuff to include while wanting to make the trailers feel fresh. If you’ve already seen The King’s Man, watch away.
As appropriately said in the comments of the final trailer: “What is it?! The 100th trailer for this film? I bet there is no other film with more trailers than this one. At this point, the trailers combined have more runtime than the whole film!”
The oldest trailer dates back to July 2019.
This was followed up by a slightly longer trailer in September 2019.
Half a year later, the “Official trailer” dropped in June 2020.
Then came the red band trailer.
The last trailer, appropriately named the “Final trailer”, dropped in December 21, just a few weeks out from the movie being released on January 6 in Australia.
What’s the deal with The King’s Man?
So where Kingsman: The Secret Service was an origin story for series protagonist Eggsy, The King’s Man is an origin story for the Kingsman organisation in general, dating back to the First World War (the film takes place sometime during the war, which was 1914-1918).
Following the founding gentlemanly Kingsman Duke Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his team of ragtag Kingsman (Kingsmen?), featuring Conrad Oxford (Harris Dickinson), Shola (Djimon Hounsou) and Polly (Gemma Arterton), the Kingsman agency seeks out to stop a massive espionage plot seeking to kill millions in a massive war, including shadowy villains and hand-to-hand combat across the European fronts of the first world war.
The mystical Grigori Rasputin (played by Rhys Ifans) features as a major villain. He’ll likely influence Tsar Nicolas II in the film much like he did in real life. He was a lover of the Russian queen, after all. Mata Hari (played by Valerie Pachner), a Dutch exotic dancer who was found to be a German spy in the First World War, will also feature as a villain. A shadowy villain named “The Shephard” will also show up.
How is it linked to the other Kingsman movies? Apart from the Kingsman organisation, quite tenuously. It looks like it’ll follow the same basic beats as the original two films, which were based off the graphic novel The Secret Service, written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.
The movie will also feature Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lee Unwin in some form – for those playing at home, Lee is Eggsy’s father, but it could be an ancestor.
What should I watch before seeing this flick?
Whatever floats your boat, really – because it’s a prequel, the only prerequisite to seeing The King’s Man is an enjoyment of action movies. Fans of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle will obviously have an advantage over those who haven’t seen those two movies because of the knowledge of the franchise, but there’s no real need to see these movies. They are, however, quite enjoyable.
Manners maketh man.
This article has been updated since it was first published.