The first look images have arrived for director Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Whereas the first Kingsman movie installment, Kingsman: The Secret Service, was adapted from Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar’s 2012 comic book The Secret Service, The Golden Circle heads into fresh story territory. Following the success of the first Kingsman film (which earned mostly positive reviews and grossed $414 million worldwide in 2015), it stands to reason that this is one comic book-inspired universe that moviegoers are eager to further explore.
As confirmed by The Golden Circle‘s official synopsis, the Kingsman film sequel picks up with the now fully-fledged Kingsman/British secret agent Gary “Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) and his allies; including, his tech-savvy coworker Merlin (Mark Strong). When the Kingsmen’s headquarters are destroyed, Eggsy and Merlin wind up traveling across the pond to join forces with the Statesmen – in essence, the U.S. equivalent of the Kingsmen – in order to do battle with their common enemy, in the form of the evil-doing Poppy (played by Julianne Moore).
Similar to how Kingsman: The Secret Service villain Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) resembles a demented Mark Zuckerberg-style social networking genius, EW describes Poppy as “a Martha Stewart-ish global entrepreneur”; one whose base of operations resembles a 1950s diner in the jungle, as previously-released Kingsman: The Golden Circle concept art has confirmed. While Moore’s Poppy isn’t featured in the first look images for the Kingsman sequel (see the EW photo gallery included below), several key members of the Statesmen are.
In addition to the photo of Eggsy in a snazzy orange velvet suit, these Kingsman: The Golden Circles photos include Channing Tatum as a cowboy hat-wearing Statesmen agent; Jeff Bridges as the head of the Statesmen; and Bridges’ fellow Oscar-winner Halle Berry as the Statesmen’s own Merlin-style tech genius (whom Strong teases might even find some “geeky love” with his own character). There’s no sign of Colin Firth back as Harry Hart here, though the actor has already been confirmed for the sequel – cheekily telling EW when he was on the movie’s set, “I’ve read the rumors, but I can’t reveal if I’m even in this film.”
It remains to be seen how Mr. Hart recovers from his terminal gunshot wounds in the first Kingsman, though he certainly won’t be the first comic book character to return from the dead. The Golden Circle is poised to continue riffing on the conventions of both the comic book and in particular, the spy genre, like its predecessor did in this respect. With several talented A-listers joining the fun and much of the same behind the scenes talent involved (including, Vaughn’s trusted co-writer, Jane Goldman), the Kingsman sequel is in a good position to please those who were fans of the first installment too.