[SPOILERS for Kingsman: The Secret Service ahead.]
2015 saw many a spy film hit theaters, but many were pleasantly surprised by Kingsman: The Secret Service and its $410 million global box office takings. Following its success, speculation of a sequel to the comic book adaptation began to abound. Back in fall of 2015 it was announced that the director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men First Class) and writing partner Jane Goldman (Kick Ass) would be teaming up with the comic's author Mark Millar (Old Man Logan) to pen a sequel to the R-rated spy hit.
Shortly after this, a theatrical release date for Kingsman 2 was announced for Summer 2017. Taron Egerton, who played Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin, will be returning to the main role. As for whether Colin Firth can return as Harry Hart, following his death in the first film - that matter's been up in the air for some time now, though the latest update on the sequel suggests a final decision has been reached.
THR is reporting that Julianne Moore is in talks to play the sequel's villain. The star recently won an Oscar Still Alice and played the formidable President Coin in The Hunger Games film quadrilogy. She's currently working on Todd Haynes' adaptation of children's book Wonderstruck as well as other movies. Having a lot on could cause scheduling clashes for her, meaning she's not a lock to appear in Kingsman 2 just yet.
In addition, THR says that Firth is not expected to return for the Kingsman sequel at this point. The site notes that while Vaughn, Goldman, and Millar did brainstorm various ways for the actor to appear in the film - including, through flashbacks or as Harry Hart's twin brother - those ideas are currently not being used. So, until further notice, it looks like Firth won't be returning to the Kingsman universe after all.
Egerton, for his part, has confirmed that, whilst the first film was shot in the UK, the Kingsman sequel will be filmed on an international level when production gets underway this summer (with the USA being among the locations in the film). He also claimed that the new villain - the role that Moore is circling - will be one to rival Samuel L. Jackson's baddie from the first Kingsman installment, having said the character "is so brilliantly written I wish I could play it."
Despite it only being a possibility, it's still interesting to consider how Moore's potential Kingsman 2 antagonist role could step up to Jackson's Richmond Valentine - not to mention, his evil plan to murder half the world's population. Having seen her cunning and charm in films like Hunger Games (and even her fun, campy, turn in something like Seventh Son), it'll be interesting to see what she could do as the villain in a tongue-in-cheek spy flick. Yet the fact that Egerton says the part is so good that he wishes he could play it, gives us confidence that we're in for a great character, whoever ends up playing them.
Kingsman 2 is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 16th, 2017