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Will Audiences Return to Movie Theaters to See The King’s Man?

The Matthew Vaughn action film is a prequel to the popular Kingsman series.

20th Century studios has released the first full trailer for The King’s Man, the prequel to their popular Kingsman franchise. Based on Marvel’s The Secret Service comics by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, both 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and its 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle followed the adventures of spy-in-training Eggsy (Taron Egerton) as he joins the world’s most dapper independent intelligence agency.

Given the massive critical and commercial success of both films (which have grossed over $800 million combined), it’s no surprise that Matthew Vaughn is returning to the well. And while the filmmaker is planning on rounding out his Kingsman trilogy, his next film follows the origins of the Kingsmen in the early 1900s.

The film stars Ralph Fiennes as T.E. Lawrence, the Duke of Oxford (aka Lawrence of Arabia) who recruits protege Conrad (Harris Dickinson) to join the newly formed elite secret service. Conrad joins fellow Kingsmen Polly (Gemma Arterton) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou) as they face off against a cabal of bad guys led by Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) and Felix Yusupov (Daniel Brühl).

The trailer features everything you could want from a Kingsman movie: kinetic action sequences, over the top villains, gadgets, and of course, impeccably tailored suits. And were we doing business as usual, I would be first in line for the film.

But, it isn’t business as usual. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues (and infection numbers rise in several states), it’s a tough sell to get people into an enclosed room packed with strangers. And while folks are tiring of coronavirus, the pandemic is most certainly not tired of us.

Watching the trailer for The King’s Man reminds me of this bizarre, large scale cognitive dissonance we’re currently experiencing. While the government is urging people to go back to work and states are slowly reopening, we cannot deny that COVID-19 is still a very real and present danger.

Hollywood is also joining the reopening party, as production resumes and films set release dates. And while The King’s Man won’t be the first big film to reopen theaters (that would be Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which opens July 31), it still has us weighing our options.

Granted, September 18 is still 3 months away (and the date could always change), but I think we would be naive to believe that we won’t still be battling coronavirus this fall. As a movie lover, I am desperate to get back to my local theater. But at what cost? And what will a socially distant communal experience like this even look like?

What do you think? Are you willing to brave the theaters for The King’s Man, or will you be waiting on VOD?


(20th Century Studios)

(via IndieWire, image: screencap/20th Century Studios)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.