‘The King’s Man’ red-band trailer shows prequel in all its R-rated glory

The King's Man
(Image credit: 20th Century Studio)

It’s been a long road for The King’s Man, the prequel film to the popular Kingsman action franchise. But the film is finally closing in on its Dec. 22 release date, and to celebrate has debuted a red-band trailer that shows off the trademark blend of class and outrageous action that its predecessors established.

In the first Kingsman movie, we get a brief backstory of the establishment of the Kingsman agency. The King’s Man will expand upon this idea, featuring the first members of the independent spy agency as they attempt to stop a dangerous cabal looking to wipe out millions.

A fun cast is led by Ralph Fiennes and includes Harris Dickinson, Gemma Aterton, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew Goode, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Daniel Brühl, Tom Hollander, Charles Dance and Rhys Ifans. Matthew Vaughn, who helmed both of the previous Kingsman films, returns for the prequel.

There have been a number of trailers for The King’s Man thus far, but this latest red-band trailer features some memorable moments from Rasputin (Ifans), doesn’t shy away from the violence and teases how Arterton may prove to be the movie’s secret weapon. Take a look for yourself below.

The King’s Man, which began filming in early 2019, had an original release date of Nov. 15, 2019. That quickly got shifted to Feb. 14, 2020, then again to Sept. 18, 2020, because of production delays. However, as many big films experienced, the pandemic put a kibosh on theatrical plans for 2020. After initially bumping the release to Feb. 26, 2021, in the summer of 2020, things shifted one final time (hopefully) early in 2021 to the Dec. 22 date.

Obviously, some may wonder why The King’s Man has opted to keep moving dates instead of just heading to a streaming service. The Kingsman franchise was originally set up at 20th Century Fox, prior to their acquisition by Disney. Like with Free Guy, Disney has an obligation to have The King’s Man debut exclusively in theaters. Hey, it worked out pretty well for Free Guy.

We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that The King’s Man is able to hold its Dec. 22 release date. In the meantime, you can catch up with the Kingsman franchise online.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.