Last year was dotted with spy films like Guy Ritchie's 60s throwback The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Paul Feig's Spy spoof, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. There was also another installment of James Bond, but of all the spy movies in 2015, Spectre was probably the least interesting of the bunch.
For our money, the most daring and original spy flick of 2015 was Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service thanks to its hyper-stylized action and clever remixing of typical spy genre tropes. Though released early in the year (a notable dead zone for films) and with an audience-limiting R-rating, Kingsman performed surprisingly well, banking over $410 million worldwide. Given that success, Kingsman 2 is already set for a 2017 release and will begin filming this summer.
Vaughn is returning to direct the sequel and - according to The Secret Service comic book co-creator, Mark Millar - has again written the script with longtime writing partner, Jane Goldman. Taron Egerton is also set to return as Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, the hapless lad whom Colin Firth's Harry Hart trains to become an elite gentlemen spy. Whether or not Firth is returning remains a mystery, but regardless Kingsman 2 will see Eggsy needing to save the world from some new, dastardly villain.
While talking with Collider about his latest film, the Olympic sports comedy, Eddie the Eagle, Egerton elaborates (as much as he's allowed) on Kingsman 2's script and villain:
"With Kingsman, we’re shooting in the summer at present. There’s a script, it’s brilliant. Obviously there’s only so much I can say but what I can say is that we shot [the first] one all in the U.K., that won’t be the case with the next one. It’s a far more international story, we’re going to some incredible places, and we have a villain to rival Samuel L. Jackson—this new one is so brilliantly written I wish I could play it. It’s amazing."
Samuel L. Jackson's Richmond Valentine, a sensitive villain who deplored violence yet employed an assistant with sharpened blades for feet and planned to kill over half the world's population, was a real boon to Kingsman's success. Hearing that as written, the villain of Kingsman 2 is even more "brilliant" than Valentine is good news, though not until the role is cast and we learn more details can we know for sure. And not to say whomever is cast as the sequel's villain can't top Jackson's scene-stealing, lisping performance, but it's going to be a tough act to follow.
What's more interesting is hearing that Kingsman 2 is going international in its scope. The first movie took place almost entirely in the U.K. and certainly gives the impression that the Kingsman are a British-based institution. Yet like the British Empire itself, it's believable that the Kingsman have colonized much of the world. There may be pockets of Kingsman stretched all across the many countries that were once under British rule, like India, Hong Kong, or throughout the Caribbean - all of which could serve as the "incredible places" Egerton is referring to. And who knows, maybe it's off in one of the far away, exotic locales we learn how Harry Hart survived? If he survived, that is...
Kingsman 2 will release in theaters on June 16th, 2017.