‘The King’s Man’ Reveals the Origins of the Elite Espionage Organization

What if some of the world’s most notorious historical figures—Rasputin, Mata Hari, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassin—conspired to bring about World War I and create global chaos?

Writer-director Matthew Vaughn uses that audacious idea as the premise for this prequel to the 2015 modern-day spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service and its 2017 follow-up. Set a century earlier, The King’s Man reveals how the elite espionage organization from those movies was born out of the Duke of Oxford’s (Ralph Fiennes, above) outrageous efforts to stop the cabal of criminals from killing millions.

“I wanted to do a huge, epic adventure,” says Vaughn. “When I was a kid, films like Lawrence of Arabia filled the screen…and I was thinking, ‘I want to bring back that genre.’” He did—with much more violence, a dash of cheeky humor and lots of historical liberties.

The King’s Man, Movie Premiere, Friday, February 18, Hulu

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