Madison Gallup ’17/ Emertainment Monthly TV Section Editor
Kicking off the famous Hall H presentations at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 was none other than the highly anticipated sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service. Kingsman: The Golden Circle had fans sleeping in line the night before just to have the chance to be as close as possible to a stacked panel which included cast members Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and Channing Tatum. That makes for one Kingsman (Egerton), four Statesmen, the American branch of spies, and one Mr. Colin Firth. The character of Harry Hart may even be some kind of robot come back from the dead to work for Julianne Moore‘s villainous Poppy. Time will tell; this panel was certainly tight lipped when it came to discussing Firth’s return.
An animated clip was played to kick off the panel. In it, Eggsy encounters Archer snooping around the Kingsman tailor shop. This clip was released after the panel and can be viewed here. To sum it up, Eggsy suggests he and Archer drink together in an attempt to slyly slip poison into the Amerian spy’s drink, but finds his cleverness unnecessary as Archer grabs the entire bottle and chugs it, passing out as soon as he’s finished. Eggsy is ready to claim his place as the most popular spy in the business.
Though Matthew Vaughn, the director of Kingsman films, was absent from the panel due to putting finishing perfectionist touches on Golden Circle before its release on September 22nd, he did send a video introducing the first major clip: the opening ten minutes of the film. Set to the fun, high energy song “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, Eggsy faces off against the oddly robotic and very much alive, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft). Though this was left ambiguous in The Secret Service, Charlie probably should have died when all of Valentine’s (Samuel L Jackson) SIM chips exploded. Yet, here he is, alive and kicking. Eggsy emerges victorious for the moment, escaping by journeying underwater to the hidden Kingsman base. Unfortunately, this is made less glamorous due to the fact that the car windows have shattered during the man vs. robot showdown, causing Eggsy to have to hold his breath in his high tech aquatic car.
As soon as the clip comes to a close, the packed and enthusiastic Hall H greeted each member of the Kingsman panel with roaring applause. As Comic-Con panels go, this group struck the perfect balance between having a fun time and really discussing/promoting their film.
Here is a quick run down of some of the goofiest highlights:
-Egerton shrugged off compliments to his strength by pointing out Tatum’s own physique. When asked if he was as impressed by Egerton, Tatum quickly and simply said “no.”
-Colin Firth, when prodded about his role in the film, responded coyly, “it’s all a mystery to me… I’m in the trailer. I seem to do a lot of shaving.” It became a recurring theme that Firth was there to look pretty and say very little, his character is spoiler-centric.
-Halle Berry introduced her character of Ginger Ale by stating, “she’s a mixer. I’m mixed. That’s why they chose me.” Toward the end of the panel, Berry notably chugged an entire glass of whiskey that Tatum had poured for her (everyone else drank from shot glasses), and she seemed to be in a bit of a daze from that point forward. Anyone who made it over to receive a burger and two free Old Forrester based drinks from the Kingsman off-site location at The Hard Rock likely understands how Berry must have been feeling.
-After some banter back and forth with Tatum about whether a Lasso is pronounced ‘laso’ or ‘lassoo,’ Bridges settled the debate by dryly chiming in, “we call it a rope.”
-Pascal entertained the crowd with musings about his affection toward his whip, the weapon of choice for his character, Agent Whiskey.
-Bridges jokes that his character, Agent Champagne “wears booze as a cologne,” but shifted gears into psychoanalyzing Champ as well, “he likes to surround himself with what he’s afraid of.”
The second clip shown to the crowd introduced Tatum’s character, Agent Tequila. In it, he handily takes down both Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong, an upsetting absence from the panel) when he sees that they’ve compromised an aged barrel of whiskey. Egerton brought the crowd back to the panel by concluding, “that’s why you don’t fight Channing Tatum.”
Firth promised the fans an emotional film, acknowledging that there was mostly heavy action being showcased. “If you’re not rooting for someone, it kind of dries up after a while,” he observed, “there are a couple of handkerchief moments.” Sounds like it’s about time to embroider a Kingsman handkerchief for the occasion.
The final clip revealed to the eager audience featured Julianne Moore as Poppy. She showcases her full ruthless potential by demonstrating what happens to anyone who betrays her organization. The entire scene is set in Poppy’s diner as an unlucky traitor walks right into her trap, bringing along a new recruit for The Golden Circle. She explains to the newbie that his friend betrayed her and that’s all he needs to know. Picking up on her hazing technique, Poppy’s new follower helps her dispatch of his recruiter by shoving him through the meat grinder. Poppy then creates a nice burger out of the meat, presenting it to the murderer to eat. It’s evident that he must comply with the sick request. Jane Goldman, co-writer of the film alongside Vaughn and the only woman on the panel aside from Berry, further explained that she considers Poppy the best kind of villain, one you can debate about with friends because the person makes good points but uses questionable (or horrific) methods.
The panel concluded with an audience member inquiring as to what quality each case member believed made a successful Kings or Statesman. Everyone had an answer, but Egerton said it best. “Manners maketh man,” he cooly replied before adding, “and of course some seriously beautiful threads.”
Goldman mused about how lovely it was to have an audience this time around who know what Kingsman is and are excited to see what comes next. If the first 2017 Hall H crowd at SDCC is any indication, Kingsman: The Golden Circle will be welcomed with open arms come September 22nd.