Kingsman: The Secret Service was an unexpected commercial success for 20th Century Fox in 2015 (grossing $414 million worldwide on an $81 million budget), but now a sequel to the Mark Millar comic book film adaptation is slated for theatrical release in 2017. The upcoming spy action/comedy is being directed by Kingsman helmsman Matthew Vaughn - once again drawing from a script that Vaughn co-penned with his writing partner Jane Goldman - and will feature Taron Egerton back as the former street kid-turned elite secret government operative (re: Kingsman), Gary "Eggsy" Unwin.
Mark Strong will also reprise his Kingsman role as senior Kingsman/tech guru Merlin in the Kingsman movie sequel, though Samuel L. Jackson is not coming back as the diabolical tech tycoon Richmond Valentine (for obvious reasons) - and though Millar suggested that Colin Firth's Harry Hart might return in some form earlier on during the sequel's development, it currently looks like Firth will not be a part of what we now know will be titled Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The official subtitle for the Kingsman sequel is revealed in the latest edition of Empire Magazine (hat tip to CBM), which also reveals plots details and concept art for the movie (note: we will post official versions of that art once they've been released online). One of the pieces of artwork shows that the Kingsman headquarters in England winds up being destroyed; that may be the event that sets in motion Golden Circle's "international story," as Egerton has called it. Either way, Empire reports that Eggsy and Merlin soon make their way over to the U.S. to work with the Statesmen: a U.S.-based secret organization (with headquarters that are disguised as a whiskey distillery), led by a woman named Ginger (Halle Berry) and a "swaggering, sharpshooting cowboy" known as Jack (casting TBA).
In addition, Empire has Golden Circle artwork that features a "Kingsman cab" that (in fitting old-school James Bond style) can travel underway like a submarine, as well as an image that shows Poppyland: the lair of the film's villain, Poppy (Julianne Moore), and a place that looks like a 1950s diner surrounded by ancient temple ruins in some as-yet unidentified jungle.
Vaughn also told Empire that he had been hesitant about returning to direct the Kingsman sequel until he had figured out the movie's "villain plot," telling Empire "Spy films are only as good as their villains." The filmmaker also emphasized that while The Golden Circle will feature its fair share of set pieces and action sequences, the Kingsman sequel will not attempt to one-up its predecessor's famous "church massacre" sequence:
"You try not to read what people want, but they do want another church sequence. I have no reason for another massacre to happen. But I have other sequences you've never seen before."
The Golden Circle, by the sound of it, aims to combine world-building with another spy adventure storyline that (similar to its predecessor) incorporates many an idiosyncratic element into the mix - in the case of the Kingsman sequel, a skiing action sequence, robotic dogs, and what Vaughn describes as a fight featuring "a massive f***ing frankfurter," among other things. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is going to be doubling down on everything that its predecessor had to offer, by the sound of it; whether this film will be better for it (as well as bigger and crazier) remains to be seen, though Fox has high hopes for the Kingsman sequel - what with certain cast members already contracted to appear in a third installment, should The Golden Circle become a hit.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens in U.S. theaters on June 16th, 2017.