The King's Man Was Inspired By A Certain Sean Connery Movie, And It's Not A James Bond Title [Exclusive]

The "Kingsman" franchise has overtly referenced James Bond, starting with the first film, "Kingsman: The Secret Service," where a character guesses that the initials of a dog named JB stand for "James Bond" (as opposed to Bond's whip-cracking heir, Indiana Jones, who also takes his name from the family dog). The franchise is drawing from the spy-movie tradition, which obviously goes beyond Bond, but thus far, Matthew Vaughn has directed all three movies, including the latest one, "The King's Man," which is in theaters now.

Vaughn drew inspiration from Bond's earliest adventures for his 1960s-set superhero film, "X-Men: First Class," too, so it would be natural to assume that the 007 of that era, the late Sean Connery, influenced "The King's Man." Moreover, "The King's Man" stars Ralph Fiennes, who played Bond's boss, M, in the three most recent 007 movies. However, "The King's Man" is a prequel set during World War I, and in Jeff Ewing's interview with Vaughn for /Film, Vaughn explained that he was drawing from a different Connery film altogether this time around. He said:

"It all started when I re-watched 'The Man Who Would Be King.' It reminded me when I fell in love with... I don't know if you've seen it, but it's an older film which, if you haven't seen it, for anyone who's reading this go watch it. It was a movie that had everything in it... epic adventure, unbelievable acting. I think one of Sean Connery's finest performances. [It had] Michael Caine, the original Kingsman. It had pathos — important messaging, comedy, fantasy. Had everything. And I was like, 'Wow, why don't we...' and I jokingly said, 'We should make 'The Man Who Would Be Kingsman.' " 

The Man Who Would Be King(sman)

This idea of "The Man Who Would Be Kingsman" is one that lingered in Vaughn's mind. It was further informed by an earlier scene in the franchise between Taron Egerton's character, Eggsy, and Colin Firth's character, Harry Hart. Vaughn explained:

"It just stayed in my head. I was like, 'Oh God, now I'm getting this itch. I'm going to have to scratch it,' and then I remembered the scene between Eggsy and Harry, and Eggsy explained why the Kingsman was founded, when it was founded. Everything about where Kingsman came from. And then I went off and I read about World War I, and these characters were popping off the page to me.

"The history, I couldn't believe... actually I wasn't any good at school, so I didn't really listen to any of this stuff. Then, when I was reading about it, I was like, 'Oh, this is really cool.' And I thought, 'God, I'm going to have to do this! I'm going to try and have my cake and eat it, like a Bakewell tart, dare I say.' I just had this sort of idea in my head, how to make a movie like I grew up on and loved, but also [one that] develops into other movies I love [of] the more modern style."

"The King's Man" is in theaters now.