The spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service became a surprise blockbuster hit after its debut last winter, grossing over $414 million worldwide, and becoming Matthew Vaughn’s (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) most financially successful film to date. Unsurprisingly, Fox ordered a sequel that is slated to begin filming this summer for a June 2017 release, with Vaughn returning as director.
The first film, based on the comic book by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass), was led by charismatic newcomer Taron Egerton, as an aimless street-kid-turned-secret-agent Eggsy Unwin, who is set to return for Kingsman 2. Along with the return of Egerton, there have been several rumors as to who will round out the cast. Halle Berry is reportedly in talks to play the head of the CIA, while Julianne Moore may join the cast as the sequel’s main villain.
While those castings have yet to be confirmed, Deadline is reporting that fans can expect to see one of the first film’s antagonists making a return appearance. Edward Holcroft will star in the sequel despite the fact that his character, Charlie Hesketh, was thought to have died at the end of the first movie. Charlie was Arthur’s (Michael Caine) candidate who becomes Eggsy’s chief rival throughout their training at Kingsman. He was sent home after failing a crucial test, but later reappears as one of the party guests who is to be saved by Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), and is last seen being beaten and shocked by Eggsy during a fight. However, it’s unclear if he was implanted with one of Valentine’s microchips, which would have caused his head to explode after they are activated by Merlin (Mark Strong).
While there’s not yet a lot of information on Kingsman 2, Egerton did recently tease the sequel will have more of an international scope, with some of the filming taking place outside the UK. He also described the new villain that could be played by Moore as “brilliantly written,” potentially rivaling Jackson’s Valentine, which would be no easy feat. The film’s script has been penned by Vaughn and his longtime collaborator, Jane Goldman.
Although Charlie’s reappearance may give fans hope that Colin Firth’s deceased character Harry Hart will also make a return appearance in some form, Millar recently said that’s unlikely to be the case. The writer has stated that plans to bring Firth back in flashbacks or as Hart’s twin brother have been dropped for now. As for Holcroft, he can next be seen opposite Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent in the film adaptation of The Sense of an Ending. The up-and-coming British actor’s recent credits include the BBC series London Spy and Wolf Hall, alongside recent Oscar-winner Mark Rylance.
Kingsman 2 is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017.