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KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Planting The Seeds
"I set up the first one so there could be a sequel," says Vaughn. And Kingsman: The Secret Service does end with Eggsy and Roxy, having combined to vanquish the global threat posed by billionaire villain Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), becoming fully-fledged Kingsmen. "As a director I enjoyed making the first one so much that the idea was appealing. But sequels are very hard. The audience loves what's gone before, but if you do the same thing, it's boring and unoriginal."

Vaughn looked at a number of sequels that he felt matched, or even surpassed, their predecessor, including The Godfather Part II and The Empire Strikes Back; films that were neither boring or unoriginal. "The sequels I love are a continuation of a story," he says. And the chief story he wanted to continue was Eggsy's. "We didn't want it to be a James Bond-style sequel where Eggsy's facing another threat, but he's static as a character," says Jane Goldman, who has been Vaughn's writing partner on every movie he's directed since 2007's Stardust. "We talked about another journey he could take."

That journey sees Eggsy holding down a relationship with Princess Tilde (Hanna Alstrom), the Swedish princess whose life was saved by Eggsy at the end of The Secret Service, and who rewarded him for his endeavours in rather an unorthodox manner. "In spy movies, there's a parade of different women in every film," says Goldman. "With Kingsman we wanted to subvert and challenge everything and loved this idea - what if that wasn't just casual at the end of the first movie? What if that turned into a serious relationship - how does that affect his position?"

Kingsman: The Secret Service represented the first time Egerton had ever set foot on a movie set, let alone taken the lead role. Since then the young Welsh actor has gone from strength to strength, with roles in the likes of Legend, Eddie The Eagle (also produced by Vaughn), Sing, and the upcoming Robin Hood. Yet he was delighted to return to the role where it all began for him. "It's my first experience of coming back for a sequel, but it's never felt daunting because Matthew is still at the helm," he says. "Eggsy is very much a part of me."

Even though the movie begins with Eggsy having been a Kingsman - codename Galahad - for almost two years, both Vaughn and Egerton were keen that the character not be infallible; that elements of the cocky lad from a council estate remained. "The rough edges haven't sanded off," explains Egerton. "He still fucks up. He still has to escape through sewers and emerge covered in shit. That's not Harry Hart, that's Eggsy. We even see him return to his Adidas hoody - that's who he is on his downtime."

When it came to sketching out Eggsy's journey, Vaughn looked again to one of his favourite movies for inspiration - Star Wars. "The best example for me of a mainstream character taking a journey over several films is Luke Skywalker," he says. "In The Empire Strikes Back, there's this feeling that your hero is still not quite a hero, he's still got conflict going on. I tried to apply that to The Golden Circle."

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