Adapted from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons 7-part comic book mini-series The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Secret Service is perhaps best known at the moment for being the thing Matthew Vaughn chose to direct instead of sticking with the X-Men franchise after directing First Class. So, if not for Kingsman Vaughn could be the one currently basking in delight at just how much everybody has embraced Days of Future Past, sending the X-Men franchise to box office heights not seen in nearly a decade. Well, he gets a little of the credit. He did help develop Days of Future Past‘s story alongside producer/screenwriter Simon Kinberg.
However, while Bryan Singer and Kinberg were off in Canada and running up one of the biggest budgets in 20th Century Fox’s history Vaughn was in England putting together Kingsman, which aims to do for the spy genre what Vaughn’s Kickass did for the superhero genre in 2000: give it a right sold kick in the arse. Luckily, as the guy who directed Layer Cake and Stardust in addition to Kick-Ass and First Class, Vaughn has built up a solid enough reputation to have scored a phenomenal cast for Kingsman headed by Colin Firth, in the first action role of his entire career, along with Michael Caine and Mark Strong in supporting roles and Samuel L. Jackson as the villain (or so it appears). The spotlight goes to relative newcomer Taron Egerton.
Here’s the trailer:
I won’t lie-I knew nothing about this film or The Kingsman comic book until seeing this trailer. However, my primary response to the trailer is just how much fun this movie looks. Plus, now I’m extra curious to check out the comics, which sound deliciously quirky. For example, this is the plot description of the comic’s second issue:
“The world’s greatest secret agent is on the most exciting case of his career. But will the end of the world as we know it take a back seat to training his street-punk nephew to be the next James Bond? The young man’s preparation now begins in earnest, saving him from a life of desperation. Meanwhile, what’s the secret link between a series of kidnapped science fiction stars and the murder of an entire town in Middle America?”
Wait, what? Kidnapped science fiction stars? Like who? Mark Hamill!
Apparently, the comics featured more than just Hamill among its roster of real life celebrities who allowed their likenesses to be used in the story. Hamill has gone one step further and will actually be in the film as will Elton John, Lady Gaga, Adele, and David Beckham, all playing themselves. Of course, none of that is really given away in the trailer, which instead presents an almost Harry Potter-like version of a spy genre film, with Colin Firth Dumbledore to Taron Egerton’s Harry to be trained at a mini-Hogwarts.
Anyway, Vaughn told EW that the entire idea for Secret Service came about over drunken pub conversations with Mark Millar over their shared love of spy movies, ““We missed all the spy movies we loved as kids, whether it was Bond or ‘In Like Flint.’ They had a sense of humor as well as being a thriller. With [Kingsman], we’re subversing the spy movie genre as we know it.”
There has been something kind of lost in the new 007 movies, which have for better or worse been influenced by the Bourne films and the new Christopher Nolan approach to franchise filmmaking. The result is that we are meant to now take James “Endless Sex Puns” Bond seriously, and Daniel Craig pulls that off because he’s awesome. However, Kingsman: The Secret Service looks to have a bit more of a laugh with the genre while, similar to Kick-Ass, sporadically erupting into violence on a scale you simply can’t completely anticipate.
Plus, it has Colin Firth! In an action movie! Pride & Prejudice‘s consummate Mr. Darcy being a super spy!
Firth told EW, “I think what’s brilliant about Matthew is that he takes people’s expectations and likes to mess with them. When we first met the year before, he said, ‘One of the reasons I’m casting you is because you’re probably the last person anyone could imagine kicking people and kicking off the villains.’ And that was the surprise he wanted to pull.”
I have a feeling this movie is going to have more surprises for us than just Colin Firth being a bad-ass. I can’t wait.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is due out worldwide beginning October 24, 2014. For now. Fox originally announced it as coming out on November 14, 2014, and then switched it to March 6, 2015 before settling on October 24. Hopefully, this date sticks.
What about you? Are you intrigued by this very first trailer? Indifferent? Not nearly as enthused as I am about Colin Firth as a bad-ass? Leave a comment to let us know.