Mark Strong Says Merlin Could Return in Kingsman 3: “I’m Not Ruling It Out”

Mark Strong is not ruling out a return as Merlin in Kingsman 3 despite his character's death, [...]

Mark Strong is not ruling out a return as Merlin in Kingsman 3 despite his character's death, saying "anything can happen" in the universe inspired by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' comic book series. Strong plays technology expert and Kingsman Agent Merlin in 2014's Kingsman: The Secret Service and its 2017 sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, where super-spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is revealed to be alive after his apparent death in the first film. Because a threequel titled Kingsman: The Blue Blood will be the final chapter in the trilogy about Harry and his protégé Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), Strong hopes to retcon Merlin's explosive end in The Golden Circle:

"I don't know. I would love to because I love making those movies," Strong told JoBlo when asked about a possible return to the Kingsman franchise. "I thought that triumvirate — that collection of me, Colin, and Taron — was a great little gang. I was quite sad, I think as were a lot of people, when he comes to his dynamic end, shall we say, at the end of the second one."

Once expected for a 2020 production start, the third film is one of the more than a half-dozen Kingsman films planned by director Matthew Vaughn. Along with the eight-episode television series said to be in development, the franchise will expand with its first prequel — the early 1900s-set The King's Man, starring Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Brühl, and Charles Dance — dated for release on December 22.

"I think there is a third one mooted and you know, that universe, anything can happen, as you well know," Strong said about The Blue Blood. "I mean, Colin got shot in the eye, comes back, and he's fine. So you know, it's fantasy. I'm not ruling it out."

In 2019, Egerton said the third chapter has "an amazing cast and it's an amazing story." He later confirmed that Kingsman 3 has a script and that the story from Vaughn and Jane Goldman is "a really neat idea."

"That plan, at the moment, is that we'd like to do another one, one more time," Egerton said during an appearance at ACE Comic Con Midwest. "It was the role that kind of started my film career so I'm always going to feel, you know, a great fondness for the part. I would like to do one more because frankly, I'd like to say goodbye to him [Eggsy] in a befitting way and to finish the trilogy. All good things come to an end. It was always imagined as a trilogy and I think it'd be great to finish the story off because I've loved playing the character."

Strong currently stars opposite Emma Stone and Emma Thompson in Disney's Cruella, out in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on May 28. Disney's 20th Century Studios releases The King's Man on December 22.