After Matthew Vaughn's irreverent love letter to the spy films of yesteryear, Kingsman: The Secret Service, earned critical acclaim and grossed $414.3 million at the worldwide box office (on an $81 million budget), it became apparent that followups were in order. A sequel titled Kingsman: The Golden Circle is currently on track for a June 2017 release and will follow protagonist Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) on a globetrotting adventure that sees them team up with the American-based Statesmen (led by Halle Berry's character). Oscar winner Julianne Moore is said to be playing the film's villain.
The Kingsman series is quickly becoming known for star-studded ensembles, as the original featured heavy hitters like Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, and Colin Firth. Even though Firth's Harry Hart was killed in the first Kingsman, the creative team spent some time trying to brainstorm a way to bring him back for the next one. Recently, it seemed like any hopes of Firth returning were kaput, but the latest bit of Kingsman 2 marketing strongly suggests otherwise.
Egerton took to Twitter to share a new poster for the upcoming film. Featuring a pair of the Kingsman glasses over the words "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," it certainly looks like moviegoers will be seeing more of Hart in the near future. Egerton's caption sells the idea even further:
— Taron Egerton (@TaronEgerton) April 7, 2016
With Harry's return seemingly confirmed, it will be interesting to see how Vaughn handles the development. Hart's death in the first film was a crucial story beat that pushed Eggsy into the field and become a member of the Kingsmen. Bringing Firth back to the fold runs the risk of undermining that key emotional arc, but it's something that the filmmakers have been discussing since The Secret Service was released in February 2015. They've had plenty of time to iron out all the details and find a smart way to pull it off. Mark Millar has ensured viewers that Vaughn and company have a plan in place in case this was the route they decided to go in.
Fake out deaths have become somewhat commonplace in the realm of genre entertainment these days (most noticeably in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), but few will be complaining if Firth reprises his role. Though Egerton was the breakout star of Kingsman, Firth was a revelation in his own right. He proved that he had more-than-capable action chops, particularly in the jaw-dropping church massacre sequence. Becoming an instant fan-favorite, the Academy Award winner seemed to have a great deal of fun playing the part, so it makes sense on several levels why Vaughn would want him for the sequel. As long as Hart's survival is explained in a logical manner, his inclusion will be welcomed.
It'll also be nice to see Firth and Egerton working together again. The two had excellent chemistry in The Secret Service, developing a standout mentor/mentee relationship that proved to be the heart of the picture. Even though Eggsy is now firmly entrenched in the Kingsmen, there are always new things to learn and it helps to have a great teacher around to provide guidance and wisdom. Fleshing out their dynamic further could give The Golden Circle a poignant layer to explore, complimenting the action and comedy to craft a well-rounded film.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle hits theaters June 16, 2017.
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