Kingsman is a British action spy franchise created by film director Matthew Vaughn and comic writer Mark Millar. The title refers to a tailor shop in Savile Row, London that serves as a front for a private international spy agency, dedicated to preserving peace and saving innocent lives without interference from world governments. Kingsman agents, who take their codenames from Arthurian legends, dress and act like the Quintessential British Gentleman, but possess fearsome skills and high-tech gadgets which they employ in their fight against megalomaniacal villains. Overall, the franchise is a good-natured play on Tuxedo and Martini Spy Fiction and classic British spy characters.
Vaughn and Millar developed the concept during the production of Kick-Ass, first publishing a comic under a different title and then adapting it into a feature film that's since spawned a sequel, a prequel and further comic books in the film continuity.
The Kingsman franchise includes:
- The Secret Service (2012-2013): Written by Mark Millar with art by Dave Gibbons, the comic follows Lower-Class Lout Gary London as he's recruited to MI6 by his uncle Jack, just in time to stop a Mad Scientist's plot and teach everyone a lesson about British classism.
- Millarworld Annual (2016): One shot story, "Kingsman: Mum's the Word" written by Philip Huxley with art by Myron Macklin. Eggsy visits his mother for dinner only find that there is an unexpected guest.
- Kingsman: The Big Exit (2017): Written by Rob Williams with art by Ozgur Yildirim, The Big Exit follows Eggsy as he is tasked with safeguarding the controversial Brexit "divorce fee" on its journey to Brussels.
- Kingsman: The Red Diamond (2017-2018): Written by Rob Williams with art by Simon Fraser. After saving Prince Phillip, Eggsy comes up against the Red Diamond, a mining magnate intent on crashing the world's computers and seizing all the material wealth of gold and jewels.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015): When a Kingsman agent is killed on a mission, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton) is recruited as a potential replacement, while his mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth) uncovers a scheme by tech billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017): With Kingsman is in a critical state after an attack by new villain Poppy (Julianne Moore), Eggsy teams up with their American counterparts, the Statesmen, including Agents Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Tequila (Channing Tatum), tech support Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), and their leader Champagne (Jeff Bridges).
- The King's Man (2021): A prequel set in the early 1900's during The Edwardian Era and World War I, chronicling the formation of Kingsman. Stars Ralph Fiennes in the main role.
- Kingsman 3 (TBA): Reportedly the grand finale of the Eggsy-Harry duo. The script is ready.
- Statesman (TBA): A rumored spinoff based on Kingsman's aforementioned American counterpart.
- #TBT to That Time Archer Met Kingsman (2017): A short shown at the San Diego Comic Con with Eggsy meeting Sterling Archer.
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle Game (2017): A Match-Three Game released to tie in with the release of The Golden Circle
- Kingsman - The Secret Service (2017): A mobile game that includes Run-and-Gun gameplay and base management.
- Affectionate Parody: Of "gadgets, tux and martini" Spy Fiction. It's basically a love letter to the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan eras of the James Bond series by Matthew Vaughn.
- Artifact of Death: The position of 'Lancelot' within the organization. Every single one in this series dies in very cruel circumstances: the very "first", Conrad, is mistaken as a German spy and is shot by his own comrade; the "would-be" Lancelot in the first movie, Eggsy's father, gets blown to bits covering Harry from a suicide grenade explosion; the "previous" Lancelot was sliced in half by Gazelle; the "last" Lancelot, Roxy, didn't even know what hit her when a missile nuked the Kingsman compound, flattening everything in it. In fact, Eggsy only survived the whole ordeal because he failed to gain the Lancelot position, always conveniently placing him out of harms' way.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Kingsman agents dress impeccably and kick ass. To be expected since their initial cover is a tailor shop.
- Black Comedy: A staple of the franchise. Plenty of horrible deaths are rendered in a hilarious manner.
- Boom, Headshot!: Across the three films released so far, a dramatic headshot serves to end the second act and set up the third-act climax.
- Central Theme: Class and classism are a common thread in the franchise.
- Covert Group with Mundane Front: A component of the Decon-Recon Switch.
- The Kingsmen are officially a group of high-priced tailors. Thing is, when your clientele are among Britain's wealthy and powerful who are grieving for the sons they lost in World War I, their collective fortunes are more than enough to finance an Elaborate Underground Base and a dozen modern "knights."
- The Statesmen distill $80 whiskey that is apparently worth every penny. However, selling hundreds of thousands of bottles every year means that they not only have a Kingsman-style EUB under their distillery in Louisville, Kentucky; they're a nationwide label with skyscraper office buildings in every major city in the US.
- Decon-Recon Switch: In the vein of Kick-Ass, the whole franchise enjoys picking apart Spy Fiction while reminding us why we still love the genre.
- Genre Throwback: To the more over-the-top James Bond films where gadgets, tuxedos, and colorful villains with over-the-top plans reigned supreme. With the violence and vulgarity turned up to eleven, of course.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: It's a requirement to perform well as a Kingsmen agent and is given more emphasis than the standard Spy Fiction will devote. The Kingsmen are well-educated, well-groomed, articulate and polite, and their training includes dinner etiquette, proper formal attire, and how to conduct yourself when meeting with royalty and government officials. If you want to be a spy who can infiltrate the echelons of high society without raising suspicion, you have to know how to act the part properly.
- Lighter and Softer: The films, compared to the original graphic novel.
- The Oner: Commonly used in action scenes.
- The Order: Under the Tuxedo and Martini veneer, Kingsman agents see themselves as knights, following a code of conduct in service of a greater goal.
- President Evil: Both U.S. Presidents in the first two movies are real pieces of work being perfectly okay with allowing the deaths of millions of people.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Kingsman agents always dress in bespoke suits (which double as a ridiculously effective Bulletproof Vest), as befitting their cover as tailors.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The films have some oddly-effective music choices, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" in The Secret Service and Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" in The Golden Circle.
- Specs of Awesome: A signature part of the Kingsman look are their glasses, which double as a heads-up display.
- Spy Fiction: A gleeful Tuxedo and Martini example. The comic is packed to the gills with Lampshade Hanging, though the films are no slouch.
- Theme Naming: Members of Kingsman take their codenames from Arthurian legends. Field agents include Galahad, Lancelot and Percival, their tech support officer is Merlin, and their leader is Arthur. Their American off-shoots, the Statesmen are mostly named after alcoholic drinks, including Arthur's counterpart Champagne, Whiskey, Tequila and Ginger Ale.