The King's Man: Why Matthew Vaughn Made A World War I Movie

The King's Man is hitting theaters this week, serving as a prequel and origin story to Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. When audience see the film, they may be surprised to see how focused on being a World War I film this prequel is, albeit a World War I film with quite a bit of satire and humor injected. It's not so much the romp that fans got to know when Taron Egerton was the star but still offers some action staples and over-the-top humor which it seems only Matthew Vaughn knows how to deliver. Vaughn, in an interview with, opened up about directing this film with the heavy war-movie influences.

"Basically, I re-watched a movie called The Man Who Would Be King," Vaughn recalled. "I don't know if you've seen it. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. And that had everything in it that I'd forgotten about in filmmaking, everything I loved, epic, adventure, history, great characters, sadness, pathos, as well as humor, action. It had everything. And I was like, 'Why is no one making movies like this anymore?' And I said, 'Why don't we make The Man Who Would Be King's Man?' And then that went up on the wall, we wrote it up."

The new film leaves Egerton's Eggsy and Colin Firth's Harry Hart in the future. This time, the franchise is bringing in Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson, and Gemma Arterton as founding members of the well-dressed Bond-like group.

The story Vaughn started dreaming up was already laid out vaguely enough in the previous Kingsman films to be explored in this prequel. "I said, 'Well, okay, how are we going to do this?' And then we remembered Harry describing to Eggsy how Kingsman was founded," Vaughn explained. "I said, 'Okay, well, there you go. Here's the speech, put out on the wall.' And then I said, 'Okay, World War I, I was a terrible student at school, I better start reading some books and stuff about World War I.' And then I was like, 'Wow, this stuff is unbelievable.' And then Rasputin."

Rasputin, played by The Amazing Spider-Man's and Spider-Man: No Way Home's Lizard actor Rhys Ifans, is getting quite a bit of praise from critics who caught early screenings of The King's Man. He's hardly the only recognizable name from our world who is more than mentioned in The King's Man. "With Rasputin, I was reading about Cossack dancing, and then ballet dancing, and how Cossack dancing was like a karate, and it became dancing because it was banned as a style of fighting," Vaughn said, showcasing his making of a bizarrely unique action sequence with his take on Rasputin twirling around in a sword fight. "I'm like, 'Great, that's it, so Rasputin's going to dance and fight.'"

Ultimately, Vaughn got to flex quite a few new action scene muscles from behind-the-camera. Rasputin's dance-battle brawl is hardly the only sequence which called for an intense level choreography. "We went back and we looked at all the Errol Flynn movies and stuff," Vaughn said. 'And I was watching these guys fight, and I'm like, 'Jesus, this is amazing. It just doesn't translate as well, because the camera's just there. You're just watching it.' So we said, 'Well, if we can get in with it,' and so we started looking at that choreography. And then I did some research and we found swords which had guns put into them."

Ultimately, Vaughn seems to be simply having quite a bit of fun with the Kingsman franchise, at this stage. "We put the timeline of [World War I], timeline of Kingsman, and then in inter-weaved the whole thing," Vaughn explained. "And I get to make an epic adventure film, as well as explore my favorite little movies called the Kingsman."

Are you excited for The King's Man? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram! The King's Man hits theaters on December 22. 

(Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)