20th Century Fox’s 2017 San Diego Comic Con panel, despite all speculation, ended up being a solo showoff mission for the follow-up film to 2014’s out-of-nowhere smash spy flick Kingsman: The Secret Service. Still, fans aren’t complaining, as the sequel to the blockbuster promises to expand its breadth to not only one but two fictional(?) national security agencies, both the British Kingsmen and the American Statesmen.
To kick off the panel, Fox showed this animated short:
In it, an animated Eggsy races across the city in full British spy form; jumping across rooftops, somersaulting across tables, and finally saving an old biddy from being run over by a bus before he at last arrives at Kingsmen headquarters and the emergency is revealed: Sterling Archer is in the changing room. Archer, the sarcastic American spy whose show was a surprise success, appears to have had his animated world invaded by the British Kingsmen, an obvious link to what will happen in the upcoming film. The short packs in a good amount of debauchery and bathroom humor in its less-than-three-minute runtime, and was a good starter to the panel.
A few hours before the panel, Fox released this trailer:
In it, several mysteries that the first trailer left fans pondering are finally solved. Julianne Moore, a new American villain going by the moniker Poppy, is responsible for the destruction of the Kingsmen, her motivation unknown. Colin Firth’s character of Galahad is definitely still alive, albeit without the use of an eye. Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges are the Statesmen, a group of southern gentlemen secret agents whose cover location is a whiskey distillery. The seemingly ageless Halle Berry is the sort of “Q” of the Statesmen, dealing with logistics and tech. And tying them all together will be, of course, a necessity to stop an evil plan to destroy the world.
There is a scene in the second trailer in which Eggsy is in the middle of an intense battle inside a car, and then is forced to climb up a door and jump into the air just before it is ripped off its hinges by an enemy vehicle. This scene was shown in full at the panel, concluding with Eggsy escaping and being forced to drive a car with no windshield underwater as it turns into a pseudo-submarine. Taron Egerton discussed the risk factor of the stunt and also the training involved, joking:
I think Matthew Vaughn just likes to see me struggle, basically….You sit in a car, and you get your seat belt on, and then they just sink you into the water…Someone’s speaking to you on an underwater speaker, and they go, ‘OK Taron, we’re gonna ask you to take your last five breaths, and we’d like you to remove the regulator.’ You know meanwhile, you’re trying to stop yourself having a heart attack.
Colin Firth was reluctant to reveal much when he was asked about his character, saying:
It’s all a mystery to me, really. I mean I…I’m in the trailer, uh and…do a lot of shaving, and um that’s really all I can say.
Taron Egerton complimented Channing Tatum on his physique, warning the audience to never get in a fight with him, even though in the movie that’s exactly what his character does. Pedro Pascal spoke about learning to use the lasso and other “cowboy stuff”, and how much fun he had. Jeff Bridges spoke about his character Champ, the leader of the Statesmen, and how he likes to challenge himself by surrounding himself with, but never engaging in, his vices.
At what one might consider the peak of the panel, Halle Berry chugged more than her fair share of whiskey, leading the moderator to joke, “Kingsmen and Fox Films would like to remind you to drink responsibly, and not like Halle Berry.”
In the last scene from the movie shown, we see Julianne Moore as Poppy showing off her evil side, bragging about the permeation of her drugs throughout the world and showing off a jungled lair complete with movie theater and 1950’s-style diner. She then has a new recruit of the Golden Circle (her evil organization) kill a man, then has the recruit’s teeth filed, fingerprints disguised, and body branded with the organization insignia. She then serves the recruit a burger made of the man he just killed, who has by then been fed through a meat grinder and grilled by Poppy herself.
If you’re interested in a full video of the panel, you can find one here. Otherwise, stay on the lookout for any other news involving the second Kingsmen film, which is slated for release on Friday, September 22nd, and promises to be just as much of a rollicking good time as its predecessor, if not more so.