Kingsman 3: Taron Egerton confirms he won't return for third installment

Eggsy will be taking a break from the Kingsman series.

Taron Egerton has confirmed that Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, the character he originated in 2015's Kingsman: The Secret Service and returned to for 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, will not play a part in the third installment of the popular spy series.

Making the press rounds for the forthcoming feature Robin Hood, the actor broke the news to Yahoo! News U.K. 

"I don't know how hot off the press this is, and I think I'm allowed to say it, but I'm not in the next Kingsman movie," he said. "That doesn't mean I won't be in Kingsman ever again. I was with [series director Matthew Vaughn] as little as a few days ago, we're still very much in business together, but his next journey in that world doesn't involve me."

The first two installments centered on the induction and mentorship of Eggsy by Secret Service agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth), and as recently as June of this year, Vaughn told Empire that Kingsman 3 would mark "the conclusion of the Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship." He also indicated that the third installment would introduce new characters that would be used to set up a prequel, to be titled Kingsman: The Great Game.

But that plan appears to have been scrapped, as Vaughn is now moving straight to the prequel (although it remains to be seen whether it will retain that title). Kingsman 3 will take place in the early 1900s and will focus on a new character named Conrad, who is enlisted into the Secret Service by a seasoned agent, who will be portrayed by Ralph Fiennes. 

The reason for the change in plans is unclear, although it may have something to do with the impending branching out of the Kingsman universe. In the same Empire interview, Vaughn revealed that an eight-hour Kingsman TV series is in the works, as well as a spin-off film featuring the Statesman, the American branch of the Secret Service introduced in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

But perhaps Vaughn simply couldn't wait to delve into the World War I-era origins of the Kingsman. Egerton indicated that the director has a killer story on tap for the prequel, and also offered a word of encouragement for those who love his character. 

"His idea for the new one is incredibly exciting," he said. "I'm sad that I won't be on that journey with him but it's not the last you've seen of Eggsy."

Whatever Vaughn has in store, fans of the series are ready. Based on a graphic novel series by acclaimed comic scribe Mark Millar, the first two installments each easily eclipsed the $400 million dollar mark worldwide, and their trademark brand of wildly inventive action mixed with playful humor hit the sweet spot for fans craving a fresh take on the well-worn spy genre. The period setting of the next installment could lend a steampunk-y aspect to the gadgetry and action-packed proceedings, which — we must say — would be beyond cool.

Kingsman 3 is slated for release on November 8, 2019.