Kingsman 3 is coming – but do you need to watch the prequel first?

Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Golden Circle
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Director Matthew Vaughn has confirmed that Kingsman 3 will begin shooting next year. 

In a recent interview with Comic Book, Vaughn revealed that production on the third mainline film in the franchise – which is expected to wrap up Harry (Colin Firth) and Eggsy’s (Taron Egerton) story – is scheduled to kick off in September 2022, meaning we could see Kingsman 3 arrive in late 2023. 

The director’s comments come just weeks before the release of his latest feature, The King’s Man, a WW1-set Kingsman prequel movie detailing the origins of the eponymous independent spy agency. The film will be released worldwide on December 22. 

But will fans of the famously bombastic franchise need to watch The King’s Man to understand the events of Kingsman 3? Vaughn has weighed in on that point, too. 

Speaking to Empire magazine last year, the director said: "We've put seeds for what's going to happen in Kingsman 3 all the way back into this [prequel]. And it's going to be very different."

Those comments suggest that, yes, audiences looking forward to the third mainline Kingsman film will be best served by watching The King’s Man beforehand – but we wouldn’t say doing so is a necessity, per se.

At least, that’s the impression given by early reviews of the Ralph Fiennes-led movie. Most outlets have praised The King’s Man for its expectedly chaotic (but often stunning) set-pieces and wry humor, but others have also described it as merely “okay” (IGN) and “serviceable” (Variety).

Few reviews have made any reference to The King’s Man’s role in setting up a future Kingsman movie – suggesting that it doesn’t really have one. 

The Hollywood Reporter did add this addendum to its take, though: “Be sure to stick around for the end credits, during which another diabolical real-life historical personage is introduced who may well become a central figure in the franchise’s inevitable next installment.”

For our money, then, The King’s Man doesn’t represent compulsory viewing for those excited to see the next mainline movie in the franchise, beyond its Marvel-esque post-credits tease. 

And perhaps we’re only asking ourselves this question because Marvel movies have normalised the idea of cinematic continuity. Not every film has to represent a smaller piece of a larger story, after all, and sometimes a prequel movie can simply exist as such.

Of course, any fans brimming with anticipation for Kingsman 3 are likely to find as much enjoyment in seeing The King’s Man, regardless – but it’s worth noting that the former isn’t dependent on the latter.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.