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Ralph Fiennes spars with Rasputin in latest debonair trailer for The King's Man

By Josh Weiss
The King's Man

Manners maketh the prequel.

Put on your suavest three-piece suit, fix your monocle in place, and check out the latest, action-packed trailer for Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman prequel, The King's Man. Set around World War I in the mid-1910s, the film explores the origins of the world's first independent intelligence organization of ass-kicking British gentlemen (and women) that will one day recruit Taron Egerton's Eggsy Unwin.

As a global conflict brews, a cabal of greedy profiteers/criminal masterminds (a group that counts Rhys Ifans' Rasputin among its ranks) seeks to accelerate war and get rich off the subsequent bloodshed. But they won't get away with it — not if the Kingsman (led by Ralph Fiennes' Duke of Oxford) have anything to say about. The agency is "refined, but brutal; civilized, but merciless," says the Duke, who allows his son, Conrad (Harris Dickinson), to join the clandestine fight and partner up with fellow agents Shola (Djimon Hounsou) and Polly (Gemma Arterton).

Watch the new trailer (set to an epic cover of Edwin Starr's "War") now:

The latest round of explosive footage ticks off all the Kingsman requirements: spy-fi gadgets, beautifully choreographed action set pieces, and a limitless sense of style, panache, and fun. This is like James Bond meets Wonder Woman meets bath salt fumes. It's gonna be one insane ride.

Matthew Goode (Watchmen), Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean), Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), and Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) co-star in the film, which blends espionage fiction with real-world historical figures and events. Per IMDb, Stanley Tucci (The Silence) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) are also set to appear, with the latter portraying some ancestor of Eggsy's (his grandfather, perhaps?).

The trailer above was teased on social media yesterday when the official Kingsman Twitter account dropped a pair of "secret messages" from Fiennes' character that had to be decoded by fans. One was a piece of audio that needed to be played backward, and the second was a text transcription of the audio, with the key line ("Watch the new trailer for The King's Man tomorrow") nearly redacted.

"I did a movie called X-Men: First Class, which was an origin story, but what I learned from that film is that when you're using characters that are known, it's hard to do plot twists. If I kill Professor X off, [fans would be confused]," Vaughn, who's helmed all the Kingsman movies so far, said at NYCC 2019. "So, I wanted to do an original movie, which had had hardly anything to do with the original Kingsman apart from the tailor shop. This is really is a proper origin story."

The filmmaker penned the project's screenplay with Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion), adapting The Secret Service comic book series by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Vaugh and Gajdusek are serving as producers alongside Stephen Marks, Claudia Vaughn, Fiennes, Millar, and Gibbons.

Check out the latest poster:

The King's Man

The King's Man is currently scheduled to infiltrate theaters on Friday, Sept. 18.