In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Colin Firth’s Harry Hart character was killed shortly after that film’s now-iconic church scene. But since Kingsman was based on a comic book, and characters never really die in comics, Harry is back. Director Matthew Vaughn and 20th Century Fox could have made this a major surprise for the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but chose not to. Firth has been prominently featured on posters and in all the trailers. What happened? How did Harry survive being shot in the head? Spoilers follow.
FILM SPOILERS BEGIN In the new film, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is made “Galahad,” taking Harry’s former code name. His new mission takes him to the U.S., where he finds a group called “Statesman.” They are based in Kentucky and discover that Harry survived the gunshot wound to the head! Now, Harry wears an eye patch and is suffering from amnesia. Eggsy uses a Yorkshire puppy to remind him of his old life as a Kingsman. FILM SPOILERS END
Firth coming back to the franchise was not a total surprise. As far back as 2015, Vaughn was talking to the press about bringing Firth back for the sequel.
“A lot of people are very upset that Colin might not be in the sequel but I’m coming up with ideas at the moment,” he told USA Today in 2015. “If people buy tickets in America, I’ve got a feeling we’ll figure out a way for having Colin back.”
And Firth himself was talking about it for months before we saw a trailer.
“I can’t give too much away about in what capacity I’m back,” the Oscar-winner told Collider in September 2016. “A lot of people have speculated and a lot of people have come to the wrong conclusions about it. I want to keep the surprise alive, a little longer. I think they’re going to be surprised again.”
In other recent interviews, Firth said that the idea of bringing him back for The Golden Circle was always there, even after his character’s “death.”
“The conversation never really stopped,” he told Screen Rant. “I feel like… the first shoot was a long one and then conversations were carrying on after the film was finished and before I knew it, it was coming out and we were doing press together and by that point we were already talking about number two and Matthew [Vaughn] had pretty much made up his mind that I would be back one way or another. So it feels like one long continuous process really.”
He also made a similar comment to ComicBook.com.
The Kingsman franchise is based on writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Gibbons’ 2011 graphic novel Kingsman: The Secret Service. In the book, Eggsy’s mentor is his uncle, who is also surprisingly killed in the book. Gibbons recently told ComicBook.com that they never intended to see their Hart-equivalent character revived.
There is a graphic novel sequel being published by Image called Kingsman: The Red Diamond, but Gibbons and Millar are not involved. Instead, the series is written by Rob Williams with art by Simon Fraser.