Warning: This article contains spoilers for the film.
The King’s Man is officially in theaters this week, marking Matthew Vaughn’s third film in the franchise based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series.
This latest entry serves as a prequel to the events of the prior films, uncovering the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency. When a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them.
The film is led by Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, and Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou and Charles Dance.
So does The King’s Man come packaged with an extra tidbit for audiences that opt to stick around for the credits? Indeed, there’s a mid-credits scene.
In the film’s final act, Orlando, Polly, and Shola managed to not only succeed in their mission to retrieve the damning film negatives that were to be used as blackmail against the President of the United States, but they also were able to take down the conniving Shepherd — aka Matthew Goode’s Morton.
The Shepherd’s death followed that of multiple members of his flock as Orlando and his crew fought to thwart his plans leading up to their discovery of his hideout, including Rhys Ifans’ Rasputin (which was easily one of the film’s best performances). However, when all was said and done and the war had been won, a crucial member of the flock still remained — Daniel Brühl’s Erik Jan Hanussen.
The mid-credits scene revealed that in the absence of his foul-tempered Scottish leader, Erik has decided to crown himself as the new Shepherd. He stands in front of a vault filled with gold as he turns to August Diehl’s Vladimir Lenin and congratulates him on the Russian revolution. Erik then reveals the newest ally to their operation … Adolf Hitler.
In regards to the Kingsman franchise, the one thing that we know so far is that the next film — Kingsman 3 — will circle back to the story of Taron Egerton’s Eggsy and Colin Firth’s Harry. Beyond that, Marv Studios also previously stated that there were even more Kingsman films being planned to expand the franchise, including a TV series.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Vaughn will return to the prequel setting of The King’s Man, but the mid-credits scene leaves the door wide open and sets the stage for The King’s Man 2, which could be set somewhere around the events between World War I and World War II.
While Brühl’s role in The King’s Man was comparatively small, he was one of the most alluring and enigmatic members of the Shepherd’s flock nonetheless. And given his extensive acting career, paired with his penchant for playing delightfully intriguing villains like Marvel Studios’ Baron Zemo, he could easily carry The King’s Man 2 as its leading antagonist.
We’ll just have to wait and see what Matthew Vaughn has in store for us next.
The King’s Man is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned for our review.