We’ve known for a few months now that the next movie in Matthew Vaughn’s profane spy send-up series Kingsman probably wasn’t going to be Kingsman 3; star Taron Egerton said as much back in November, and Vaughn’s made no secret of his intent to go the prequel route for the franchise’s next installment. Now Deadline has confirmed those plans, including the fact that the untitled backstory project will require a whole new cast of quippy secret agents to fill in for Egerton and Colin Firth.
But while we won’t be seeing Harry and Eggsy blowing away evil tech billionaires or engaging in juvenile, borderline questionable sexual shenanigans, Vaughn still isn’t going too far afield with his new casting choices. All of the casting announcements released today—Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, Gemma Arterton, Charles Dance, Djimon Hounsou, and more—make perfect sense in a “Fill the thing with famous (mostly British) people, please” sense, sometimes to an almost 1-for-1 degree. (It’s not hard to imagine Tucci riffing on Mark Strong’s bald-headed mentor role, or Game Of Thrones’ Dance stepping into the “malevolent supervisor” role filled by Michael Caine in the original film.) The most going-back-to-the-well move, though, is the guy who’ll presumably be starring as the film’s ersatz Taron Egerton: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who starred in Vaughn’s other big comic-book breakout feature, Kick-Ass.
Previous reports on the prequel suggested that it would operate under the name “The Great Game,” and would take place in the 1900s, tracking the origins of the titular agency of sassy secret agents. Meanwhile, it’s entirely unclear when this thing is coming out; Vaughn previously secured a November 2019 release date for some kind of Kingsman project, but it’s not clear if he was referring to the prequel project at the time.