'the king's man' at nycc (source: imdb)

The ‘King’s Man’ at NYCC: Prequel Film Takes ‘Kingsmen’ Franchise to Early 1900s

While some panels at New York Comic Con advertised big celebrity appearances, the 20th Century Fox film panel just listed the two films they would be talking about. Even so, the big crowd of fans was not disappointed when the stars turned out in force. The Fox panel’s second half had Ryan Reynolds and co. introducing Free Guy. But first the folks from The King’s Man, the latest installment in the Kingsman franchise, brought the narrative back a hundred years with a prequel origin story. Director Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman, X-Men: First Class) was joined on the Main Stage of NYCC by stars Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou and Harris Dickinson.

Set to hit theaters on February 14th, 2020, The King’s Man stars Fiennes as the Duke of Oxford, who founds the team we know from the other two films in the franchise. While a group of evil tyrants plot to kill millions through war, it’s up to the Duke to act. Rhys Ifans plays one of the main villains. He portrays the real, but very mysterious figure of Rasputin.

The cast of 'the king's man' at nycc (source: imdb)
The cast of ‘The King’s Man’ at NYCC. Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson, Matthew Vaughn (director), Ralph Fiennes (Source: IMDB)

With just over four months until it’s wide release, Vaughn said he and his team are about halfway through the editing process. A teaser was shown along with two scenes setting the tone for the action. The iconic tailor shop fans know from the previous two films is featured as Fiennes’ character brings his son (Dickinson) to get fitted. There is also an epic fight scene as Dickinson and Hounsou attempt to aid Fiennes after he gets beat down by Rasputin. It should be no surprise in this third film of the series, but the fight scenes are highly stylized and epic.

It would have made sense for the next step in the franchise to be a third film in the Eggsy and Harry trilogy. But at the panel, Vaughn said that it’s important for him to not repeat himself and push his boundaries. There was also a lot of on location filming as the director attempted to limit CGI whenever possible.

While very much a genre movie, Vaughn name dropped many of his favorite classic films as influences including the The Man Who Would Be King. For film buffs, it was also revealed the same lenses were used for The King’s Man as Lawrence of Arabia. Some in the apparently artsy audience applauded this.

The soft-spoken Fiennes stated he was drawn to the project by its mix of humor, emotion and action. With a career including roles from Schindler’s List to plenty of Shakespeare, his turn as Voldemort in Harry Potter made him an icon to the Comic-Con crowd and they let him know it with a large ovation.

Of his character, Fiennes said a personal tragedy has made the Duke a pacifist of sorts. When his son is desperate to fight for his country, the Duke has to navigate that difficult situation. If the trailers and clips are any indication, everyone does their fair share of fighting before the movie is done.

While crossovers are fun, Vaughn said fans won’t be able to glimpse any ties to the modern-day characters of the other films. Unless of course you consider the tailor shop to be a character, and then there is plenty to… sew them together. The trailer gives off a look that reminds me of Wonder Woman (2017). It’s likely the similar era and period costumes that tied them together in my mind. The action is very different though. The Kingsman agents don’t have magic bracelets. And I don’t think Wonder Woman would be as successful fighting with an umbrella. The King’s Man hits theaters February 14, 2020. It should be quite the Valentine’s Day.

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