‘Secret Service’: Mark Millar Says Colin Firth is the James Bond That’s Cool

Published 9 months ago by , Updated July 26th, 2014 at 8:59 am,

Kingsman Secret Service Colin Firth James Bond Secret Service: Mark Millar Says Colin Firth is the James Bond Thats Cool

Following the success of Kick-Ass, director Matthew Vaughn and writer Mark Millar are preparing to release their next collaboration - Kingsman: The Secret Service. The film follows Harry Hart (Colin Firth) – who helps turn delinquent teenager Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) into a new spy recruit and bring him into the world of espionage. However, even though Eggsy is featured heavily in the trailers and serves as the inlet to the world of Kingsman, the most talked-about aspect of the project is Colin Firth’s move from romantic comedies and historical dramas to espionage action.

After three decades on the stage and screen, Firth has racked up enormous critical acclaim as well as industry awards – including an Academy Award for Best Actor following his portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech. Despite a lengthy filmography, the actor has never been tasked with portraying a lethal action hero – even though his fans have often pondered the possibility of Firth suiting up as Hollywood’s favorite spy, James Bond. While the actor isn’t set to play the next 007, with Harry Hart he is finally getting his shot as an equally suave (and deadly) spy – who, according to creator Mark Millar, is actually cooler than the current Bond.

While speaking with Millar and co-writer Dave Gibbons at Comic-Con 2014, the Kingsman filmmakers poked fun at the current, more emotional, version of James Bond (portrayed by Daniel Craig) while talking-up Firth’s portrayal of Harry Hart.

Will people be asking themselves “what if” about Colin Firth as James Bond now – after seeing this movie?

Dave Gibbons: I think he’s a great secret agent. Perhaps he’s the James Bond that never was but should have been – but now he gets to do all that cool James Bond stuff anyway. I think there’s a nice backstory to it as well that makes him even more of a hero.

Mark Millar: The weirdest thing is, I think if he had gotten that Bond gig ten years ago, he’d have been bored – because this [Kingsman] is cool. James Bond cries in the shower now in these movies but [Firth] gets to do cool stuff – like firing these gadgets and all this stuff. I think he got the best gig in the end.

The Secret Service Artwork Secret Service: Mark Millar Says Colin Firth is the James Bond Thats Cool

Later, in the Kingsman: The Secret Service press conference, Firth was candid about his transition from dramatic actor to dramatic action hero - offering a tongue-in-cheek response about waiting “long enough” for the part of James Bond before elaborating on what makes Kingsman: The Secret Service an even better fit for him:

Firth: I enjoyed this kind of thing growing up in the 60s and the character of the spy movie has its roots in the 60s. It’s the Man from Uncle, it’s the Harry Palmer films, it’s John Steed’s Avengers, and those early Bond films. It’s the guy in the suit who seems slick and cool and capable but very contained but you cross him at your peril. He’ll get you with the umbrella or a slick move or a gadget or something – so it was all that. But it took Matthew Vaughn to invite me.

You know, I’ve been here waiting for the offer on Bond for long enough [laughs] but it was Matthew Vaughn who decided it was a good combination – because he likes to take your presumptions about people and flip them on their head. So he came to me and said, you’re the last person on Earth that anyone would expect to kick anyone’s ass and it I think it’ll be a big surprise but I’d really like you do it. Are you up for it?

Apparently Firth rose to the challenge. Mid-way through the press conference Millar backed the decision to cast Firth in the role – promising that the actor doesn’t just bring a great performance, he’s an amazing fighter.

Millar: [The clip we’ll be showing] in Hall-H this afternoon of Colin fighting, I’ve watched about 200 hundred times, is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see what Hugh Grant is like when he watches it. He’s going to be shitting himself.”

Millar is, of course, referring back to Firth’s high profile fight scene with Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones’s Diary - which the actor had previously described as his most memorable experience with fight choreography. In case you need a refresher, check out the scene below:

In all seriousness, it’s exciting to see Firth take-on the challenge of a film that is heavy on choreographed action – especially for anyone who has actually read The Secret Service comic series and knows exactly how crazy and intricate the combat sequences can get. Most importantly, with such a talented actor in the lead role, Firth helps ensure that otherwise zany action moments carry real weight – instead of attempting to simply wow audiences with visuals alone. Assuming that he does nail the more physical aspects of the role, Firth could be the next entry in a line of drama and comedy actors (most recently Chris Pratt) that have surprised moviegoers and studios with untapped action chops. Kingsman appears poised to change our perception of Firth – which, as indicated in our interview, should result in plenty of fans pondering what a Colin Firth-led 007 film might have looked like.

kingsman secret service colin firth Secret Service: Mark Millar Says Colin Firth is the James Bond Thats Cool

Unfortunately, Fox has yet to release a second official trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service (though they debuted a sizzle reel that could be very close to what we’ll see in the next trailer) – so, anyone who wasn’t inside Hall-H for Firth’s clip will have to wait a bit longer to see the fan-favorite actor in action.

MORE: Kingsman: The Secret Service Trailer


Kingsman: The Secret Service opens in U.S. theaters on October 24th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Kingsman: The Secret Service as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

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  1. Well ‘The Kingsman’ looks awful, so Millar is full of it.

    • You’re judging the Kingsman without obviously having watched it… I think you’re confused over who’s the one that’s actually ‘full of it’. Matthew Vaughn hasn’t directed a bad movie yet so pre indication is pretentious.

      • I’ve seen the trailer, and a trailer’s main focus is to get you interested in the movie, and for me, it has failed at that. Also I said ‘The Kingsman’ LOOKS awful. Not that it IS awful.

        • +1 to Brad for having common sense and knowing what a trailer’s purpose is. I happen to agree, I saw the trailer before Apes last week and it just looked bad and uninteresting.

          I’d also dispute the “Matthew Vaughn hasn’t directed a bad movie yet” argument because it comes down to personal opinion and there are some who love everything he’s done while others hate everything he’s done and some are firmly in the middle.

          Personally, the only film I remember him directing was X-Men: First Class, which I didn’t find particularly engaging or memorable. Did he direct Kick-Ass too? If so, hated that film. James Gunn’s Super did the whole “ordinary guy dresses up as a superhero” thing so much better and funnier.

    • To be honest, the movie looked fun. And it’s directed by Matthew Vaughn who did X-Men: First Class.

      • Don’t forget Kick-Ass.

        • And Layer Cake

          • He directed Layer Cake?

            Ok, so that’s 1 out of 3 films that he’s directed that I actually enjoyed then.

            • Who are you and why do you think anybody gives a crap?

      • Yes, to some it does look fun, but I have to wonder if that is enough considering the prices they`re asking of us just to see some of that fun. It`s a no from me.

  2. Sounds like a desperate move to get people talking. Remember when Triple X came onto the scene by comparing itself to Bond for a modern audience. It was juvenile rubbish with grown men talking like 12 year old boys with an attitude.

    The dumb thing of course was comparing itself to a successful and enduring franchise. By drawing the comparison the audience made it and it came off the loser. Instead they should have pitched it as a brain dead action flick for kids.

    Tom Cruise’s recent film Edge of Tomorrow was very clever to come out and compare itself to Groundhog Day. The similarities were minimal and only in concept but by drawing that comparison they headed off the more obvious comparison that would have been made and that was the to the film source code. Compared to GHD neither comes off first or second but had it been compared to Src Code half the audience would go home and tell their friends it was a mediocre copy.

    All this leading me to say making a Bond comparison is dumb. Firth has enough gravitas to stand on his own without trying to be a Bond clone. Sell the character rather than tell us he is a copy.

    • This is Mark Millar though. The guy always seems to want to make people believe that his work is the only thing you should be interested in. He’s a master at self-promotion in that regard.

      He seems to me like someone who had early success and it went to his head so that even when he peaked creatively and strayed into “his best work is way behind him” territory, it didn’t stop his ego growing by the day.

      I like one or two of his comic book stories (Marvel Civil War and Superman: Red Son) but otherwise, I have no respect for him as a person.

  3. Not to nit pick, but Firth played King George VI in King’s Speech, not Henry IV, a medieval English King who ruled in the late 14th-early 15th centuries and deposed his cousin, Richard II. As for the movie it does seem like an interesting throwback to the more classic, fun spy thrillers.

    • Hey Andrew, not a nitpick at all. Thanks for (politely) pointing that out. We’re moving fast here at Comic-Con, dumb mistake. I’ve updated it.

  4. Sean Connery was a James bond that’s cool*

  5. How on earth can you get so many things wrong? King Henry IV??? For goodness sake! John Speed? Really – John Steed in the Avengers! Harry Donner? Who? Harry Palmer, the role made famous by Michael Caine! You must be very young!

    • I dunno, I only turned 30 earlier this year but I’ve known who The Avengers and Harry Palmer are since I was a youngster with an age in single digits. Then again, being raised in England, you kinda know these things, especially when they’re classics from the 60s that have become part of the national fabric (alongside The Prisoner, The Saint and others).

    • Bottom line: We’re scrambling to get these posts up and cover everything at SDCC. The audio from that part of the interview wasn’t as clear as the rest – and I forgot to go back and double-check that part of the transcription.

      At the end of the day, as the writer of the post, the buck stops with me. I’ve updated the article accordingly. Thanks for pointing out the mistakes.

  6. Sorry, I wouldn’t normally judge a film before it came out, but for Millar to put down Bond (a Legend) and compare his secret agent comic to him his absurd. From the trailer it looks like a very old story that has been done to death anyway; the Diamond in the Rough tale where a sage old master brings into the fold a misplaced youth who doesn’t play by the rules and becomes the hero beyond expectations. Men in Black springs to mind! The action will be slowed-down unrealistic tosh to try make Firth look ‘Cool’. I put that in inverted commas because that was the best adjective Millar could use three times to tell us about his work.

    Connery’s Bond didn’t have today’s special effects to add flavour to the fights, but the character still captured our hearts anyway. I would’ve probably watched this but after Millar being a knob with his comparison to Bond, I don’t think I’ll bother.

    Millar, you are about as cool as a mother-in-law’s kiss.