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Kingsman Prequel The Great Game Delayed To 2020

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but what kind of upstanding members of the Kingsman collective would we be if we didn't tell the truth?

As The Hollywood Reporter details, studio 20th Century Fox has delayed the release of director Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman prequel movie. 

Carrying the full title Kingsman: The Great Game and not to be mistaken for the third installment in the core Kingsman franchise, the film will arrive in theaters on February 14, 2020 — several months after its planned November 2019 debut. The Great Game was first meant to open on November 8 of this year, but was then pushed forward a week to November 15. 

With the November 15 window now free and clear, Fox will slide another action-packed pic into theaters in place of Kingsman: The Great Game. The film in question? Ford v. Ferrari, the action biographical drama directed by Logan filmmaker James Mangold. Initially slated to launch on June 28 of this year, Ford v. Ferrari stars Christian Bale as British driver Ken Miles and Matt Damon as automotive expert Carroll Shelby, two men who led an engineering team recruited by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca to build "an entirely new race car, one with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship." The Punisher actor Jon Bernthal stars in Ford v. Ferrari as Lee Iacocca, while award-winning actor and playwright Tracy Letts portrays Henry Ford II. The rest of the cast includes Caitriona Balfe as Mollie Miles and Remo Girone as Enzo Ferrari. 

Fox didn't reveal a reason as to why Kingsman: The Great Game will no longer debut this year, but we can assume that its down to two things: 1) the filmmaking team will need a little more time to complete filming and conduct post-production tasks, and 2) Vaughn is prioritizing the actual third Kingsman movie before the prequel. The director reportedly noted that he will "next turn his attention to" a proper follow-up to Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which suggests that The Great Game is shifting to the back-burner for now. 

We've known for a while that Vaughn will shoot The Great Game and the yet-untitled Kingsman sequel back to back, just as filmmaking duo Joe and Anthony Russo did with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Sounds like the sequel will come before the prequel on the shooting schedule — but it won't arrive in cinemas before The Great Game does. Per ComicBook.com, the Golden Circle follow-up is expected to debut sometime in 2021. 

The wait between now and next February should be worth it, as The Great Game introduces a fresh group of Kingsman agents and shakes up the existing property by turning back time and exploring the origins of the secret spy organization. These new characters include a teenager called Conrad, the "young, cocky, and charming son of a British Duke" who is "eager to find a way to serve his country during World War I." Conrad discovers that the Kingsman may "offer him just that opportunity." Interesting, very interesting. 

British actor Harris Dickinson, who broke out with his role as John Paul Getty III on the freshman season of Danny Boyle's drama series Trust and Liam Stewart in the sci-fi film The Darkest Minds, is on board to portray Conrad, who will be the prequel's answer to the main series' Eggsy Unwin, played by Taron Egerton. As The Great Game takes places years before the events of the first Kingsman movie, Egerton won't be a part of it. The actor previously explained, "I'm not in the next Kingsman movie. That doesn't mean I won't be in Kingsman ever again. I was with Matthew 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."

Joining Dickinson for The Great Game is an absolutely divine crew of A-listers: Matthew Goode (Watchmen), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Djimon Hounsou (Shazam!, Guardians of the Galaxy, Aquaman), Alison Steadman (Orphan Black), Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), and Tom Hollander (Bohemian Rhapsody). Details for all but Arterton and Hollander's characters are being kept under wraps; we know Arterton will play someone called "the Nanny," while Hollander portrays three characters – George V, a Russian tsar, and the Kaiser — who all have blood relations to Queen Victoria. 

Both in-the-works Kingsman movies sound like they'll be a blast, and we'll certainly be waiting as patiently as possible until Fox rolls The Great Game out on February 14, 2020 and the "proper" Kingsman sequel in 2021.