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The King’s Man: everything we know about the spy movie prequel

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The wonderful onslaught of comic book movies continues, but next year it isn’t all about iron men, bat-men or wonder-women. Instead, we are entering the explosive world of spies and espionage with upcoming Kingsman prequel, The King’s Man.

Based on the Icon Comics series from writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Gibbons, and arriving in the wake of blockbusters Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the movie continues the adventures of the titular British secret service organisation.

But this time, there’s a twist: The King’s Man is taking us back in time. Here’s what we know about it…

It’s taking the series back to its roots

Putting the antics of Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth) to one side, The King’s Man is taking us back to the early 1900s, introducing us to the origins of this world-saving organisation.

The film will introduce audiences to the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes), who, as it turns out, was the man who invented the very first independent intelligence service. Alongside the innovative Duke is World War I veteran Conrad (Harris Dickinson), the first ever Kingsman recruit, and together they will show us how the spy legacy began.

Although The King’s Man looks to be keeping the slick fight choreography and fancy suits, the light-heartedness of its predecessors looks to have been slightly downplayed. Of course, there’s always time for a joke here and there, but the film is not shying away from the sheer horrors of trench warfare, something Conrad is well acquainted with.

There’s a new villain

Of course, a great hero is nothing without a scenery-chewing, world-ending villain to do battle with, and The King’s Man is brimming with moustache-twirling bad guys.

The newly founded espionage collective will be put to the test almost instantly, after a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds come together to plot a war to end all wars. When one of these evil-doers is the infamous Russian sorcerer Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans), you know things are going to get rough for our intrepid spies.

Matthew Vaughn is back

Returning for duty is Matthew Vaughn, who you may recognise as the man behind the previous two Kingsman films, as well as other comic book ventures X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass.

With Vaughn taking his rightful place in the prequel’s director’s chair, The King’s Man is sure to maintain the visual and thematic aesthetic that has been established in the franchise. From the trailers, Vaughn looks to be bringing his exciting, kinetic style to the 1900s for the origins of his action-packed spy series.

There are several new cast members

Although the suave Colin Firth and spirited Taron Egerton won’t be making an appearance, Vaughn has not skimped on their all-star replacements.

Stepping into the shiny shoes of the Duke of Oxford is the much-celebrated, Oscar-nominated thespian Ralph Fiennes, while marching into the espionage fray as his protege Conrad is young up-and-comer Harris Dickinson. Dickinson is so far best known for the indie drama Beach Rats and his recent role in Disney sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Joining them to take on the smorgasbord of villains is Prince of Persia’s Gemma Arterton as the gun-toting Polly and Shazam!’s Djimon Hounsou as Conrad’s combat trainer Shola. There are also credits for Downton Abbey’s Matthew Goode, Kick-Ass’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, In the Loop’s Tom Hollander, Rush’s Daniel Brühl and Godzilla’s Charles Dance.

It’s released in 2020

Audiences will be thrust back into the dangerously thrilling world of covert operations when The King’s Man hits cinemas on the 18th of September 2020.

Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.