Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class helmsman Matthew Vaughn is reportedly attached to direct a handful of gestating projects, ranging from cosmic adventure reboot Flash Gordon to espionage thriller novel adaptation I Am Pilgrim. However, it would appear the filmmaker's next project is going to be the as-yet untitled sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, Vaughn's surprisingly successful 2015 spy flick - based on Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar's comic book of the same name.
Millar has confirmed that Vaughn and his writing partner, Jane Goldman, are actively putting together the Kingsman 2 script. It would appear that Vaughn is, in fact, planning to direct the sequel too, seeing as he has now taken steps to keep the production rolling along on schedule - affecting Kingsman star Taron Egerton's other developing project, Lionsgate's Robin Hood: Origins, in the process.
THR is reporting that Vaughn has exercised an option in Egerton's deal with 20th Century Fox for the Kingsman franchise; as such, he will be available when filming on the sequel gets going, with an April 2016 date being the current projected start date. Lionsgate, meanwhile, has decided to keep Egerton onboard for its Robin Hood project - a retelling of the famous legend - and move the project back from its previously-set February 2016 filming start. The latter will now likely begin principal photography not too long after Kingsman 2 wraps up (with a late Summer 2016 start date predicted by THR's sources).
Robin Hood: Origins, as the title suggests, re-exmaines the early days of the heroic English outlaw, by way of a script from Joby Harold - who also penned director Guy Ritchie's upcoming King Arthur movie Knights of the Round Table - and directed by Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Peaky Binders). The project features an intriguing mix of talent on both sides of the camera and looks to be the one Robin Hood project reported on in recent years to see the light of day (sorry, Sony's Robin Hood Shared Universe) - probably for the best, by the sound of it.
Director Ridley Scott's own gritty re-imaging of the Robin Hood story from 2010 featured Russell Crowe as an older version of the archer/warrior and grossed $321 million worldwide on a $200 million budget. Robin Hood: Origins should be a less expensive venture, but it will nonetheless be the first major test of Egerton's box office draw outside outside the Kingsman franchise.
Kingsman 2, as it were, is shaping up to be the first sequel that Vaughn directs to one of his own hit movies - having previously passed on directing such projects as Kick-Ass 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, as it were. Kingsman, like the other Millar comic book adaptations that have been made over the past decade (see Kick-Ass and Wanted), was certainly not everyone's cup of tea thanks to its ribald humor and frequently juvenile tone. Nevertheless, it was an overall critical success and grossed $412 million worldwide (on an $81 million budget).
Hence, Kingsman has now launched a fresh hit spy franchise, anchored by Egerton as former street kid-turned master spy, Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin. What comes next for the series is a good question, though, as Millar hasn't already written a Kingsman comic book sequel - and there is one key Kingsman player whose return for the movie followup isn't yet confirmed...
We'll continue to keep you up to speed on news concerning both Kingsman 2 and Robin Hood: Origins as more information becomes available.