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Kingsman Prequel Movie Lands Official Title, Synopsis

The Kingsman prequel film has an official title — and it's not too much of a stretch.

The flick will be called The King's Man, which we have a funny feeling will end up being an allusion to how the secret organization came by its name. The movie also has a brief yet intriguing new synopsis. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

The King's Man will take place in the early 1900s, and will explore the origins of the deadly British spy agency we've come to know and love — and, as such, it'll feature a completely different cast from the first two films. Set to star is Ralph Fiennes (Hail, Caesar!), Harris Dickinson (The Darkest Minds), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Gemma Arterton (The Escape), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), Matthew Goode (The Crown), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Stanley Tucci (The Silence), Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), Tom Hollander (Bohemian Rhapsody), Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones) and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy). Franchise director Matthew Vaughn is returning for the prequel.

Fiennes is said to be playing an older, mentor type of character who will school Dickinson's young recruit in the ways of the fledgling organization, a dynamic similar that that of Colin Firth's Harry Hart and Taron Egerton's Gary "Eggsy" Unwin in the first two films. Here's the official synopsis: "As a collection of history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them."

It'll be interesting to see how Vaughn fleshes out the history of the Kingsman, the genesis of which was hinted at in the first film. It was revealed that in response to the loss of their heirs during the carnage of World War I, a group of wealthy Britons had used the money which would have been passed down to them to found the Kingsman, which would work behind the scenes to defuse global conflicts — and, presumably, help to prevent more destructive wars. Of course, we're assuming that World War II did indeed happen in the Kingsman universe, so perhaps the prequel flick will address this apparent failure.

In an appearance on the ReelBlend podcast earlier this month, Vaughn sounded downright nervous about how fans of the franchise will respond to the new film. "The prequel is so different," the director said. "For me, it was a whole new muscle to go off and develop, and I hope the public likes it. I don't know. I mean, I'm very proud of it already. But it's very, very different. So, some people will — the people who hated Kingsman [will] probably love it, and all the people who love Kingsman might go, 'What the hell has he gone and done?'"

His trepidation is understandable, given the choice to go full-on period piece and mess with a pretty reliable formula. 2015's inaugural franchise entry Kingsman: The Secret Service and its 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle wowed audiences with their snappily staged, high-tech action setpieces (not to mention their distinctly British sense of humor), and they combined to gross over $800 million dollars at the worldwide box office. It remains to be seen if fans eager for more of the adventures of Hart and Eggsy will follow the brand, and get their butts in the seats for an unrelated story featuring a totally new cast and setting.

Of course, it'll help if The King's Man delivers the franchise's signature blend of action and humor, and a few subtle-yet-significant connections to the larger franchise probably wouldn't hurt, either. Vaughn has already made it clear that he intends to return to the present day to finish off Hart and Eggsy's story, rounding out the series into a trilogy.

At any rate, it seems to us that Kingsman fans have a lot to be excited about. Vaughn has said that the third installment in the series proper could begin production as soon as 2020. Also in development: Statesman, a potential spin-off focused on the American version of the spy organization featured in The Golden Circle, and an eight-hour Kingsman television miniseries (which has yet to find a home). 

As for The King's Man, it's slated for release on February 14, 2020. Mark your calendars, and get ready for some quippy, old-timey action.