One of last years surprise hits, Kingsman: The Secret Service not only launched the career of Taron Egerton but also saw something of a rebirth for it's lead, Colin Firth.
Firth had long been known for romantic leads in period dramas, indeed his turn as Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice only led to his casting as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones. It seemed Firth was the perfect romantic lead for the aging female crowd, nothing like an action star.
His casting as Harry Hart raised some eyebrows, but these were quickly changed to stunned eyes when the movie finally hit. Not only was Firth perfectly cast as the gentleman spy and mentor, not only did he pull of the most shocking, vicious and batshit crazy action sequence of all time but SPOILER...
HE DIED HALFWAY THROUGH!!!
Harry Hart's sudden death at the hands of Sam Jackson was shocking to say the least but if you look closely it was telegraphed throughout the film. Twice in the early part of the movie Harry is impulsive and it nearly costs him his life, three strikes and you are out as they say.
His death lead to his protege Eggsy uncovering not only the real plot, but finding within himself the potential that Harry had seen in him and even managing to bed a princess.
As soon as the movie was released, fans were looking for the loophole. Firth HAD to return in some way, either as a twin brother, a flashback or "Jedi Ghost/Hologram" and this week Egerton posted the picture that seemingly proves this.
But while fans rejoiced, the truth may not be as fan-friendly as they think.
Edgerton made a very interesting comment recently, stating that "Eggsy would want to switch sides" during the upcoming conflict.
What or who could possibly make him want to turn on The Kingsman, other than loyalty to Harry Hart.
The photo teases that Hart's glasses may have saved his life (perhaps cost him an eye) but it is equally possible that Hart had faked his death after learning of Arthur's betrayal in siding with Valentine, and perhaps the whole film is based around this.
What is never made clear is at what point in time Arthur became involved with Valentine and became "chipped". What if the whole movie has Michael Caine's seemingly benevolent mentor working the other side?. The opening shock of Lancelot's death at the hands of Gazelle could even have been Arthur's doing as part of the betrayal... and his tolerance of Eggsy as Hart's proposal a way to distract him from suspicion.
If that's true then it's also unclear at what point Hart becomes aware of the plot and Arthur's involvement. Perhaps Lancelot's death could only mean one thing?
Much of the film could be Harry's "master plan", recruiting & training Eggsy to the point where he could, with Merlin's help, stop Valentine and take down Arthur, while he removes himself from the now corrupt Kingsmen, something he would never be allowed to do while alive.
Harry showing showing Eggsy the poison? How about that's him showing him how to kill Arthur when the time comes, as he knows he will not get the opportunity himself?
What throws a spanner in the plan, is Eggsy's refusal to shoot his dog, JB, which removes him from the programme just before Harry goes off on his final mission... or does it?
Hart KNEW Eggsy would balk at this, and it would "remove him from all suspicion" in Arthur's eyes. With Harry's apparent death, he knew that he would return to the Kingsman compound and ultimately kill Arthur, while his boss would simply see Eggsy as a "loose end to be tied up" rather than a serious threat, a mistake which costs him his life.
So what has Harry been up to Since he "died"?
Well he is clearly going to be involved with another organisation, if Julianne Moore is the lead villain then he's either been infiltrating that or he has become thoroughly demoralised by the corruption and guilt of his actions in the church - that he has embraced a darker path, as let's face it, he was not expecting to brutally murder 80 or so people, it has likely had an effect on him mentally or even "opened the floodgates" to a more violent/darker man.
There will likely be a big reveal that stuns Eggsy, an attempt to recruit him to the new cause and away from the Kingsman, that Eggsy will seriously want to take up. After all, this is his father figure, who gave him a purpose in life and the means to protect his family. His loyalty to Harry will go a LONG way past his loyalty to the Kingsman and this dilemma may well take up a large part of the film.
Ultimately, it's safe to say Harry will probably come back to the Kingsman in his rightful place as leader but it's clear that Kingsman 2 is going to be a very different animal from the first movie.
More recently a new wrinkle is the news that Channing Tatum is joining the cast. This seems an odd move, considering that on the same day the Jump/MIB crossover was also announced.
It's likely Tatum will play a smaller role, perhaps as an American Kingsman or perhaps be more of a short cameo... but why is he in this at all? It seems an odd move.
Unless of course the troubled Gambit project is finally off the table. It wouldn't be the first time a studio has ditched an announced property. With rumors of Fox being willing to do business with the MCU now, the time for Tatum's Gambit is probably passed. That would however leave an awkward contractual situation, where Fox would have to pay him (there's no way he didn't sign a play or pay deal) so they've added him to Kingsman as a make-up movie for losing Gambit.
It would seem the most logical reason for casting him because he is the most "un-Vaughn" like casting you could imagine.
Only time will tell, but already Kingsman 2 is shaping up to be a radical sequel.