Despite Kingsman: The Golden Circle‘s considerable length, the film was almost so long it needed to be split in two. This week, the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s breakthrough his Kingsman: The Secret Service will hit theaters. While the low-profile and small budget of the original allowed it to outshine expectations when it became a surprise hit in the spring two years ago, the sequel will be a real test for the franchise. Though the movie lays the groundwork for a follow-up, the continuation of the film series will depend on how things go this time around.

Despite the relative calm of September, the movie will have to compete with the juggernaut that is IT. On the plus side, Kingsman 2 is receiving mostly favorable reviews – read our positive take on the film. Though it has some shortcomings, it’s said to amp up the action, comedy, and absurdity of the first film. Add in Julianne Moore’s eccentric villain and the new movie looks to be a worthy successor. It also offers fans plenty to digest. Coming in at 2 hours and 14 minutes, the spy spoof rivals most superhero films with its length. Shockingly, it was originally even longer.

Related: Kingsman 2 Has Another Controversial Sex Scene

Collider spoke with Kingsman: The Golden Circle director Matthew Vaughn about the evolution of the film, where he revealed the original runtime of 3 hours and 40 minutes mostly worked. Still, the studio had some ideas about how to handle things:

“I thought it was highly watchable… That was the part about being a sequel as well, I lost my discipline where you’re with a bunch of friends and you go, ‘Oh that’s a good idea’, and it was a good idea, but everything just got longer and longer and longer. There was a moment where the studio said, ‘Hey should we do The Golden Circle Part 1 and Part 2?’ and I went ‘Absolutely no way we’re doing that, this is The Golden Circle.’”

kingsman 2 box office projections Kingsman 2 Was Almost Split Into 2 Films, May Get Alternate Cut

While it’s hard to imagine a nearly four hour action-comedy as being highly watchable, it seems that much of the material was enjoyable. Given the vast amount of footage that was left on the cutting room floor, however, one might expect a whole heap of deleted scenes on the home video release. While the bad news is that won’t be happening, the good news is Vaughn might deliver one hell of a Director’s Cut:

“I never really put deleted scenes on. I always say about filmmaking it’s like eating sausages, it’s best not to really know how we do it, I think it ruins the magic. I might do another cut of this film. I don’t think I’ll do deleted scenes, because obviously you don’t really understand the context, how it fits in, and they don’t polish them up properly. But I think it could be pretty cool to do a Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Version 2, it might be fun. If people see this I’ve got a real—and also that will spark some real debate about what I cut out and why, and I’m sure some people will say I was an idiot for doing it.”

Though Vaughn’s criticisms of deleted scenes are founded, most home video owners are prepared for the context-less, unfinished scenes. Still, the promise of an extended cut of the movie is interesting. It’s not uncommon for director’s to release lengthy versions of films that are more in line with their taste than the studio. And if Vaughn gets his way, he might be able to test the hypothesis that the 3 hour and 40 minute cut of Kingsman: The Golden Circle is watchable.

NEXT: Does Kingsman 2 Have a Post-Credits Scene?

Source: Collider

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