Many were surprised by the news that Fox’s presentation at this year’s Comic-Con would not feature the highly anticipated sequel to fan favorite/box office smash “Deadpool,” given its looming release date and clear appeal to the core fanbase here (not to mention the fact that the first film was originally launched in Hall H).
Instead, Fox devoted its hour on stage to preview “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” admittedly another highly anticipated sequel to an R-rated comic book film — and arguably, “Kingsman” has the better cast. The panel included three Oscar winners — Colin Firth, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges — as well as star Taron Egerton and likely future Oscar winners Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal.
Director Matthew Vaughn wasn’t in attendance, but Sterling Archer was, thanks to an animated clip that brought the H. Jon Benjamin-voiced super-spy face to face with Eggsy (Egerton).
In addition, Fox screened three clips from the film:
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- The opening sequence, a highly kinetic string of scenes that plunge us right back into the “Kingsman” world, full of high tech gadgets, boot knives and gut punches.
- The introduction of Tatum as Agent Tequila, one of the Statesmen who operate as the American equivalent to the Kingsmen.
- The introduction of Julianne Moore as Poppy, the film’s villain. In the sequence, Poppy reveals her love for ’50s nostalgia — as well as an extremely grotesque employee management style.
Producer Jane Goldman jokingly apologized for the depiction of Americans as Southern-accented cowboys, saying that “we know it’s a stereotype.”
Ross then noted that the film goes so far as to have the Statesmen wear cowboy hats. “That was Matthew’s fault,” Goldman quipped.
Another thing to look forward to: whips, which were Pascal’s specialty. “How many of you have cracked a whip properly?” the “Game of Thrones” and “Narcos” charmer asked the crowd (a few cheered in response). “It’s really fun.”
Firth was tight-lipped about what to expect from his character’s return in the sequel, given that he was killed during the first “Kingsman.” “To make the tiniest reference to anything I do would be a spoiler,” he said.
But what wasn’t a secret was the bromance between Egerton and Tatum, who showered each other with praise. “I am nothing in terms of strength compared to Channing Tatum,” Egerton said.
“He’s unbelievably talented… maybe not in the strength area,” Tatum said of Egerton, before explaining his reason for joining the project: “I was begging to be in this movie. These guys were a lot of fun.”
Ross also teased that at some point in the film, Tatum swaps his Stetson for a bowler hat — though it wasn’t the first time he’d worn a bowler. “Maybe I really liked ‘Clockwork Orange,'” he said. “Maybe I like to get a little weird, do a little cosplay.”
If you were wondering, while the Kingsmen’s cover is high-class tailoring, the Statesmen operate a bourbon distillery in Kentucky (“When I think of Kentucky, I think of bourbon,” Goldman said).
This led to the highlight of the panel — albeit a slightly worrying one. After Ross brought out a bottle of the film’s signature bourbon, he distributed shot glasses to everyone except Berry, who got a pint glass Tatum filled up more than halfway. Not too long later, peer pressure (literally, most of Hall H chanted “CHUG”) pushed her to down the whole thing:
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“‘Kingsman’ and Fox Films would like to remind you to drink responsibly,” Ross said as fans cheered.
At the end of the panel, Berry might have been a little wobbly walking off the stage. Before doing so, though, she gave the half-empty bottle to a fan in the crowd.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” premieres September 22, 2017.