In the film and trailer, when the new Kingsman recruits have their first night's sleep interrupted by a deluge of water pouring into the dorm, on-set the scene went horrifically wrong. As Matthew Vaughn recalls "I shouted 'action!', the computer got it wrong and vrrrrssshh, everyone was twenty feet down underwater. Cameras, sound guys... Guys were in waders full of water, panic, everyone diving in and pulling people out." The set, painstakingly planned and rehearsed using height markers and computer-programmed water tanks, washed away in a near-biblical flood when said computers went rogue. "Those actors weren't acting, they were absolutely terrified," shudders Vaughn. "It was awful for the first day of filming."
Many of the villains in the James Bond franchise have had some form of physical dysfunction, difference, or abnormality. Samuel L. Jackson's character of Richmond Valentine was originally intended not to have a lisp. However, Jackson completed his first take with a lisp. Matthew Vaughn yelled "cut!", and talked to Jackson, who revealed to Vaughn that, prior to having an acting career, he actually had a lisp, which he eventually overcame. It was also jokingly remarked that this lisp is Valentine's reason for being villainous.
According to "The Gentleman's Guide" on the film's official website, "The Rules" of a Kingsman Gentleman are as follows: (1) A gentleman never tells about conquests, private matters, or dealings. His business is nobody else's. (2) A gentleman doesn't clash in public with enemies or exes, or worse, with out-of-fashion contrasts, colors or styles. (3) A gentleman is always happy to serve, whether it's opening the door, picking up the bill, or merely calling a cab the next morning. Ask him for help and he cannot refuse. (4) A gentleman never reacts to rudeness. He pretends he doesn't recognize it and moves on like it never happened, because it never should have. (5) A gentleman is always on target with witty remarks, interesting facts, and conversation starters that bring the best out of everyone. And (6) A gentleman asks non-invasive questions to keep a conversation going and attention focused on others. He makes them feel like the most interesting person he's ever met, whether that's true or not. Interestingly, new Kingsman agent Eggsy (Taron Egerton) actually follows none of these.
Taron Egerton worked out very hard for months on end to get in shape for this film eventually developing six-pack abs for his shirtless scenes. He said that it "required a lifestyle change" for him and "total commitment to living a certain way and being very militant about what you eat." He said he overall enjoyed the experience and would definitely do it again if there is a sequel. He was thrilled that his body was captured looking that way for the silver screen adding "to see my body transform and then to have that there forever on screen is quite a nice feeling. For generations to come, we can all appreciate my abs."
Actress Sofia Boutella had to undergo an intense training schedule to portray the part of Gazelle. Boutella has said: "They taught me Thai boxing, Taekwondo, and how to work with cables. Gazelle uses her legs to kill, so I had to learn different types of kicks. I'd never done anything like it before."
Amy Purdy, the double amputee snowboarder in Sochi and runner up from Dancing with the Stars (2005) was originally cast as "Gazelle", but when filming was delayed, she dropped out, so she wouldn't miss the Olympics.
Matthew Vaughn has said that his vision for the picture should be interpreted in terms of what Steven Spielberg wanted to do with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), where Spielberg took the movie genre he grew up with as a kid, and then re-interpreted it in a "modern, fresh, accessible way."
When the Kingsman recruits are going through the basic training program, they still look good, and wear what are known as "siren suits." These outfits were inspired by the one-piece garment famously worn by former English Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Comic book writer Mark Millar once told Matthew Vaughn about a newspaper article he had read about how Terence Young, who directed the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962), had cast Sir Sean Connery against the wishes of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Fleming had seen Agent 007 as more of a James Mason or David Niven type, the latter actually portraying him later in the unofficial spoof Casino Royale (1967). Millar has said: "Young realized he had to turn Connery, this rough Edinburgh guy, into a gentleman, and before they started shooting the film he took him to his tailor, to his favorite restaurants, and basically taught him how to eat, talk, and dress like a gentleman spy."
One of the objectives of the studio, and the filmmakers, is for the movie to be the first film in a franchise. Matthew Vaughn has said: "Well, that's the plan... otherwise someone's going to lose a lot of money!"
Galahad a.k.a. Harry Hart (Colin Firth) attributes his quotation from Ernest Hemingway about being noble to him. This is a common misattribution, and the oldest known version of the quote is from the book "Good Health" from 1898, and most likely it's from an old Indian proverb. The alleged Hemingway quote said by Hart in the film states: "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. The nobility is being superior to your former self".
If you go to 11 Savile Row on Google Maps Street View, you can actually walk inside Huntsman and Sons. Before you enter however, note the "Kingsman" symbol in the right bottom corner of the front window, and when you go directly to the back of the shop, on the wall in the left hand corner is a picture of Colin Firth, wearing their suit.
Inspired by the 2012 Paralympics in London, Matthew Vaughn wanted to have a character with a prosthetic leg, similar to the 'Flex-Foot Cheetah' as worn by paralympian sprinters. At one point, Oscar Pistorius was approached about playing the role of 'Gazelle', and his representatives were asked if Pistorius could play a convincing killer. He later declined to take the role to focus on practicing for future sporting events. In February 2013, Pistorius was put on trial, and later sentenced for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Also in the film, Gazelle shoots someone through a door. Pistorius had shot Steenkamp through a door.
The classic British Gentleman's Wardrobe, featured in the film, is a sixty piece collection that includes suits, watches, ties, umbrellas, briefcases, and more. Some movie posters for the picture feature the whole of the arsenal.
Screenwriters Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn were keen to make some changes to Mark Millar's source story, and take the film in a slightly different direction. They crafted a backstory for the organization that was slightly less governmental, and the gentleman spy was no longer the street-punk's uncle, but a former colleague of his father's, who'd lost his own life while saving the spy.
According to 'The Hollywood Reporter', "while lots of films have done clothing or jewelry or product tie-ins after the fact - this is the first time that the idea for a full collection of clothing was conceived, while the film was being conceived."
The Kingsman shop, seen in the film, is based on the world-renowned Huntsman shop, according to Production Designer Paul Kirby. Shooting on location was impractical, so Kirby and his team, built their own version of the Kingsman shop, in the studio at Leavesden. The tailors at Huntsman, loaned the production some props to add authenticity. Kirby has said: "We were then able to crank up the volume and density of some things, and strip away some others. If you walk down Savile Row and have a look in the Huntsman window, as I'm sure some people will do after seeing this film, you'll see some elements that are similar, and some that aren't. We wanted to put our own mark on it."
According to Matthew Vaughn, he decided to work on this film because he felt it was an opportunity too good to be passed up, and would rather not see it filmed by someone else. While working on a treatment for X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), he saw a work-in-progress version of the comic that Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons were working on. He told the studio that he wanted to do this film, and then asked Bryan Singer, who produced X: First Class (2011) whether they could swap duties. All parties consented to his idea, on condition that 20th Century Fox would distribute and finance this movie.
Jane Goldman has said of Matthew Vaughn: "Matthew's got such a love for the James Bond movies, and "Kingsman" is about embracing that genre, while also doing something new with it. Matthew's been talking about doing a spy movie for years, even back when we were working on Stardust (2007)."
At the "Kingsman" press conference at the San Diego Comic-Con in August 2014, Samuel L. Jackson answered a reporter's cell phone, which rang on the table in front of the actors as it was recording their answers. Jackson stayed on the phone with the caller, to the great amusement of everyone in the room.
Matthew Vaughn told Colin Firth, for his performance and characterization of Harry Hart, to channel David Niven, rather than Roger Moore, the latter portraying James Bond in seven films, with Niven portraying Sir James Bond in the 1967 unofficial James Bond spy spoof Casino Royale (1967), with Niven also once considered to play Bond in the official franchise.
The movie is the fourth consecutive teaming of Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, after Stardust (2007), Kick-Ass (2010), and X: First Class (2011). Vaughn was fleshing out ideas for the film version with Goldman, while the source comic book was being published. The pair have collaborated on most of the films Vaughn has directed to date. They both created the new script, as source comic book creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons were producing the comic, in much the same way Vaughn and Goldman had approached the adaptation of Millar's earlier then in-progress "Kick-Ass" story. Millar has said: "Matthew and Jane work together so brilliantly. Whatever you give them it always comes back better. There's nothing lovelier than seeing your book adapted, and actually being better than you had imagined."
Gadgets and weapons featured in the film include: exploding silicon microchips, remote-activated poison pens, double-barrelled hand-pistols, bullet-proof designer-fashion suits, a 50,000 volt electrified signet ring, augmented virtual reality spectacles, a bulletproof AR targeting system, ammunition-firing black designer umbrella, super-spy smart watches, which can fire sleep darts and magnetized bolas, artificial razor-sharp silver-metal legs of female acrobat Gazelle, and shoes with poisoned neurotoxin pop-out blades, reminiscent of those seen in From Russia with Love (1963).
During production, soccer star David Beckham, singers Lady Gaga and Sir Elton John, and Skyfall (2012) songstress Adele, were all rumored to be making cameos in the film, but none of them were ever confirmed. Matthew Vaughn has said of this: "They're all bullshit... I wrote a draft with celebrities in, but it got too confusing, so we binned it."
Only three of the characters from the source comic book were used for the screen version. They are: Gazelle (with a gender change), Dr. James Arnold (who is now a Professor), and Gary London, who is now Gary Unwin.
The film was made and released two years after its source comic book was published in 2012. "The Secret Service" rolled out onto the shelves of comic book stores in February 2012, telling the story of a gentleman spy, training his street-punk nephew, to be the next great secret agent, and exploring two co-existing sides of British culture.
The movie was initially going to be set in the U.S., but after much consideration, it was finally decided to set the picture in the UK. Matthew Vaughn insisted on keeping the story based in Britain, so source comic book writer Mark Millar knew he'd need to find a British illustrator to capture the subtle differences between the classes, and that person was Dave Gibbons.
At one point in the film, Eggsy calls Merlin 'Mycroft' as in Mycroft Holmes, the brother of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Mark Strong, who plays Merlin in this movie, also featured in the film Sherlock Holmes (2009).
Taron Egerton and co-star Edward Holcroft had a big bodybuilding competition on-set, to determine "who would get the biggest pecs", because they both had shirtless scenes in the movie, and wanted to look their absolute best. But Egerton said that he eventually came out on top, saying "I think Edward may have got the guns (biceps), but in terms of abs and pecs, I think I just pipped him to the post."
Fashion Editor, Consultant, and Net-a-porter Empire founder Natalie Massenet has said: "I knew the clothes had to really serve the plot - and they do in our film. An elite secret group of gentleman spies camouflage their identity, by holding meetings in a Savile Row tailor's shop. It's not like the clothes are an added benefit, or not utterly functional to the story. They are a big part of the story. Colin Firth is grooming a young man to be the next gentleman spy - and in this case, the clothes do make the man."
The British version of the movie had to have some of its violence components edited out in order for the film to garner a "15" classification in the UK, otherwise the film was likely going to be slammed in that territory with an "18" certificate. According to the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) website's precuts information for the film, "during post-production, the distributor sought, and was given advice, on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission."
When plummeting towards the earth with only one parachute, Roxy and Eggsy perform a stunt known in the skydiving community as a "Mr. Bill". This is where Eggsy hangs on to Roxy, who then deploys her parachute, so both of them hang suspended underneath the one chute. The opening shock, and resulting forces, make this stunt impossible to execute during terminal velocity.
The film features a bulletproof AR targeting system ammunition-firing black designer umbrella. According to website 'MyVue', in real life, "back in 1978, Bulgarian author Georgi Markov was assassinated when an umbrella, partly developed by the Soviet KGB, fired a fatal pellet the size of a pinhead, containing the poison ricin into his leg."
Some of the tabloid headlines in Galahad's office: "Brad Pitt Ate My Sandwich", "Germany - 1, England - 5", "Speed Camera Outrage", "Naughty Nun Touched My Bum", "Suite Tooth", "I Swear I Thought They Meant Coca-Cola", "Grievous Bloody Hypocrisy", "They're Behind You!!!", and "We don't mean to gloat, but...".
According to the film's press notes, the movie wryly subverts the conceits of the spy genre, telling the story of a gentleman spy who takes an ordinary working class kid under his wing and trains him in the art of espionage. It's about a street kid's journey from one social class to another, set in the two colliding worlds of life and death adventure and a very ordinary street existence. Matthew Vaughn has said: "The film is a blend of everything I learned from making Lock Stock (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)), Snatch (2000), and Layer Cake (2004), which were gangster movies, as well as my comic book films Kick-Ass (2010) and X: First Class (2011)."
Source comic book Illustrator Dave Gibbons was drawn (no pun intended) to the story, by the fact that it was set in Britain, and that the characters were intrinsically British. Gibbons has said: "There's nothing that's really quite as exciting as things that are grounded in reality. Even with the most outlandish fantasy, you have to ground it in reality, for it to remain feasible. So if you're going to have people flying around in jetpacks (like in Thunderball (1965)), and ejector seats (like in Goldfinger (1964)), and possess all the wonderful gadgetry, the fact that the "Secret Service" comics are set in a believable South London, that the kids looked believable, and that the cars fit, is really important to sustain and feed the fantasy."
It was on the set of the genre-bending Kick-Ass (2010) that Matthew Vaughn noted Mark Millar, who conceived the concept for, what would finally become, "Kingsman: The Secret Service". Millar has said: "We agreed we wanted to explore the origins of an elite spy, but focus on an unlikely candidate."
The film's closing credits dedication states: "In loving memory of my mother Kathy (Kathy Ceaton), who always put the extra into ordinary and taught me what a Kingsman should be". Ceaton is the late mum of Matthew Vaughn, and was also the mother-in-law of Claudia Schiffer.
The production wanted the film to be "The Best of British." Paul Kirby has said that you can't do a British spy film "without considering Bond", and that the picture they wanted to make, is a pantomime of the Roger Moore era Bond movies. Kirby added: "James Bond has gone a little bit dull, while they chase the (Jason) Bourne franchise."
The skydiving scenes were shot in real-life. Acting as stunt doubles were the Red Bull skydiving team, consisting of Andy Ford, Mike Carpenter, Steve Scott, Lucy Maycock, Chris Ivory, Dave Ruffell, Phil Curtis, Andy Duncan, Sean Freeman, Steve Howes, and Ramsey Kent. World-famous skydiving photographer Norman Kent was leading the execution of the shots.
The main character's name was changed, in the film, from London to Unwin, undoubtedly as a reference to Stanley Unwin, who played the lead character of "Father Unwin" in the Gerry Anderson supermarionation series, called The Secret Service (1969).
The poster design style of one of the film's main movie posters, with all its variations, with a woman's legs and thighs in the foreground and a male in the background situated between them, was iconic and controversial when it was used for the earlier James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981). When shooting the still for that movie's main poster, photographer Morgan Kane allegedly asked the model to put the bathing suit on backwards as they hung too low over her legs. After the poster had been released, some newspaper editors felt that there was too much buttock shown in the poster. To show less skin, the suit was extended or shorts were added to the hips in the posters. The original poster caused outrage amongst various groups, causing Saskatchewan, Canada to rate the film "Special X", despite being rated PG or equivalent virtually everywhere else. That rating was later lowered. Apparently the model's identity was not known for some time. More than one model alleged they were the owners of the legs but it was finally revealed they belonged to then 22 year old New York model Joyce Bartle. The "Kingsman: The Secret Service" poster avoids the controversy by not having naked legs and thighs and with star Colin Firth's eye-line gaze looking downwards, instead of Bond's in the "For Your Eyes Only" poster looking upwards at the Bond poster Girl.
The film's art and set direction was inspired, and influenced by, long-time James Bond franchise Art Director and Production Designer Ken Adam. Given the film's Bondian influences, Paul Kirby embraced the opportunity to give a nod to Ken Adam, who worked on many of the early James Bond films. Kirby has said: "We made something with its own sensibility, but there are one or two subtle nods to acknowledge Ken's body of work. There's not a designer in the world that isn't a fan of his." Kirby has worked on three James Bond films himself, and all Pierce Brosnan Bond films, they being GoldenEye (1995), Die Another Day (2002), and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) has metallic weaponized anatomical appendages, in keeping with the graphic comic, as well as some of the iconic villains and henchmen from the James Bond franchise, such as Dr. No (1962) (metallic hands); the title character Goldfinger (1964) with his obsession with gold, as well as Oddjob (steel rimmed bowler hat) from that same movie; Tee-Hee (metallic hook hand) from Live and Let Die (1973); and Jaws (metal teeth) from Moonraker (1979) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
The pistol carried by the Kingsman, is actually a Soviet Tokarev TT-30 from pre-World War II. Designed and made by Cohort Film Services' armory technician, the TT-30s were refinished and reblackened, and feature custom handmade grips, re-profiled slides, hammers, and frames, and an underbarrel shotgun attachment. They can also accept custom suppressors, which were also designed and made by Cohort. Six pistols and suppressors were made for the film.
Several people involved in this film have worked on other comic book adaptations as well. Matthew Vaughn directed X: First Class (2011), Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sir Michael Caine and Mark Hamill have appeared in Batman adaptations, as Alfred Pennyworth and The Joker, respectively. Mark Strong also played Sinestro in Green Lantern (2011) and the villain in Kick-Ass (2010), which was also directed by Vaughn. Hamill also played The Trickster (James Jesse) in The Flash (1990).
The character of henchwoman Gazelle was so named, according to Sofia Boutella, who portrays her, "because she's in total control of her legs." The character is a beautiful, super-smart, double-amputee killing machine, with deadly running blades. Boutella adds: "Gazelle wears prosthetics that, when she's fighting, unleash razor sharp blades, which makes her very dangerous." That, and the character's name originally came from the graphic comic.
The press notes state that the gentleman spy is a classic trope of British cinema, from the authentic view of the lonely sleuth presented by John le Carré, to the high-tech, high-testosterone fantasies of the 1960s James Bond films. Colin Firth has said: "So you have a bit of (author Len Deighton's spy protagonist) Harry Palmer, a bit of (James) Bond, and a bit of (John) le Carré, and it's all there for the sake of entertainment."
The British Gentleman's Wardrobe fashions, seen in the film, are a collaboration of Matthew Vaughn, Costume Designer Arianne Phillips and 'MR. PORTER", the award-winning global men's style retail tailors, combining the best international menswear with editorial content, these all creating for the film, a dream team of British heritage brands, to create a new menswear label, that refreshes that wardrobe.
In the movie, Eggsy, talking to his little sister, says, "Oh my days, haven't you gotten big!" "Oh my days" is a common English expression - the rough equivalent of 'oh my god', however many viewers misheard this as "Oh my Dais'..." and believed Eggsy to be referring to his sister with a shortened version of the name Daisy. In reality, Eggsy's little sister is never named in the film.
When Eggsy returns to the Princess' cell after ''saving the world'', the code which he enters on the alpha numeric pad are '2,6,2,5'. On an alpha numeric keyboard those numbers could spell out the word 'ANAL' which is a reference to the Princess telling Eggsy that they could 'do it in the asshole' if he saved the world.
When Eggsy asks if the suit will fit him, Merlin tells him that "bespoke" always fits. This is the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure (MTM). A bespoke suit uses a pattern created specifically for the individual wearer, with multiple fittings (5+ is not uncommon, each building on the fitting before), and colors and fabric to suit individual tastes. MTM is made from a pattern already created, using pre-selected fabrics and colors, and commonly has one fitting to measure and adjust the pattern and a second to fix any errors.
In the film, Eggsy's training dog is named J.B., after American super-spy Jack Bauer, from the Fox television series 24 (2001). Despite the character's North American origins, the revival mini-series 24: India (2013) took place in London, England, where this film is largely set.
Brand integrations, product placements and promotional tie-ins seen in the movie in the exclusive Kingsman designer range include the Savile Row shopfront; Mackintosh coats and outwear; Drakes handmade ties, pocket squares, bow ties and silk accessories; George Cleverley shoes and footwear; Turnbull & Asser cotton poplin and Oxford cloth shirts; Bremont watches, clocks and timepieces; Cutler & Gross glasses, frames and eyewear; 'Swaine Adeney Brigg' leather goods and umbrellas; and Phillips suits, jackets, and trousers.
The picture was originally going to be released late 2014, around late October or November, depending on the territory, but the movie was not ready, so the worldwide release launches got pushed back to dates, most of which, are during February 2015.
On the film's specialized direct specific for movie product branding and manufacture, Vanessa Friedman of the 'The New York Times' has reported: "The clothing line is a risky move, as it is so dependent on the success of the film and its potential for sequel after sequel. And the investment required is not insignificant, especially compared with the traditional product placement deals where filmmakers get the stuff free (or as a pay-to-play, depending on the agreement) but the clothing brand gets the associated windfall if your picture makes it big. When you think about this approach, however, the payoff could be huge . . . ready-made content for marketing, not to mention ready-made celebrity spokespeople! Every mention of the movie, every interview with an actor, will be a chance to move merch [= merchandising]. It takes the whole famous-person-with-a-fashion-line . . . to a more abstract, conceptual level."
The distinctive aircraft, in the skydiving scene, is a Short SC-7 Skyvan 3-100 (G-BEOL). The SC-7 is an Irish plane, produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, and is widely used for skydiving purposes around the world.
Although Galahad claims that the Sun's tabloid headlines in his office are all celebrity nonsense, and the the real things he did never made the news, the cover at the far right is the controversial "Gotcha" cover from the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser Belgrano during the Falkland Islands War.
Many movie posters for the film are reminiscent in design style of the iconic James Bond film for For Your Eyes Only (1981). This type of poster design with a woman's legs and thighs in the foreground and a man (Bond) between them in the background has also been used for Abel Ferrara's Ms .45 (1981) (a.k.a. Angel of Vengeance) and the French poster for Transporter 2 (2005) amongst a few others.
Second movie from 20th Century Fox in recent years to allegedly utilize the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981), for material or marketing. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), one of the primates kicks a car off a bridge, the same type of way that James Bond (Roger Moore) did in "For Your Eyes Only". Secondly, In "Kingsman", one of the major release movie posters utilizes a close-up of a woman's legs in the foreground with a character juxtaposed in the background between them, just as with the main movie poster for that Bond film.
Canadair Challenger N247CK, which is featured in this film, is operated as a prop by Shoot Aviation, and is normally stored at White Waltham airfield in Berkshire, England. It was rescued from an uncertain fate from Oxford Airport in 2014. The wings and fin have been made removable, so that the airframe may be transported to other locations or studios. The complex regular landing gear, has been replaced with simple robust steel fabrications. The interior is fully fitted out. Amongst other productions, the aircraft also featured in the BBC television mini-series The Night Manager (2016).
The address of 11 Savile Row in London used in the film is just five doors down from 3 Savile Row, which, at one time, was the office to Apple Records and is where The Beatles performed their rooftop concert (their final concert).
In the scene where Galahad and Valentine confront each other at Kingsman Tailors, Valentine says the line: "I guarantee it", which is the slogan of the American men's dress clothes retailer Men's Warehouse.
Placed number two at the U.S. box-office for its first three weeks of release. Furthermore, it remained in the U.S. box-office top ten for its first eight weeks, until the release of four new films pushed it to number sixteen.
The song featured on the trailer is David Bowie's "Suffragette City" (1972) which was originally released on Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" 1972 album, then as a single in 1976.
The tail number, N247CK, was originally assigned to a 1982 Canadair CL-600 Challenger in October of 2009, and deregistered when the aircraft was exported to England in March of 2012. It is still on reserve until March of 2017.
It was originally announced on May 20, 2014, that Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson would be composing the music for this film, but later, on July 11, 2014, it was reported that Gary Barlow would be the film's composer.
The Huntsman clothing store that the Kingsman shop is based on, on Savile Row, has a sign next to its entrance. On one side is 'Huntsman, est. 1849', on the other side it says 'Kingsman, est. 1849'. Also, the Kingsman logo is on the front window of the store.
Considering that a bespoke shop is a cover for the Agency, Sir Michael Caine, who appears in this film, is a close friend of former footballer Mike Summerbee. They appeared together in Victory (1981), and Mike became a tailor after retirement.
The initials of Eggsy's dog stood for "Jack Bauer', while the acronym "APSS" stood for "Auto Program Search System", and for the "HALO" plane jump scenes, the letters stand for "High Altitude Low Orbit", a sequence of this kind, previously appeared in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), a spy film franchise, which this movie regularly parodies and references.
The line to Eggsy, "Yes, I do recognize him, he served me at McDonald's at the Winchester services," is false; there is no McDonald's at Winchester services. However, this is a moot point, since this is a fictional movie.
The name of the principal intelligence agency in the film is "Kingsman". Real-life intelligence agencies also mentioned in the movie included the FBI, KGB, Mi6, Mossad, and the Chinese Intelligence Agency, with the latter also informally being referred to as Beijing.
The movie's name "Kingsman: The Secret Service" has two similarities with the James Bond film title of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Both refer to a "regal" character and both refer to an intelligence "secret service."
The President of the United States, who appears in the film, is not a depiction of Barack Obama, despite bearing a striking resemblance. Matthew Vaughn stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "First of all, it's not Obama. I just want to be clear. The easiest way to making the point, where people knew that Valentine was in power, was to have the White House. We needed someone who was reminiscent of Obama, so that people got the point."
In the film Eggsy uses the alias "Chester King" to gain entry into Valentine's lair. This was stated to be Arthur's real name. It is also the name of one of the seven actors who played a "Kingsman Knight" and is given in the closing credits.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the big church sequence, Galahad/Harry Hart kills 58 people, overall 61. Valentine kills 1,267 people, caused by him sending out a broadcast signal, that ends up with people killing each other, overall 1,268. Merlin kills 227 people by detonating the security chips, and shoots five Arctic Guards. Eggsy kills 28 people. Arthur accidentally poisons himself, when drinking the brandy, after Eggsy switched the glasses.
Matthew Vaughn originally wanted the Kingsman Agents to kill the dogs, but Jane Goldman felt it risked losing the audience. Eventually they came up with a compromise of using blanks instead. Harry's 'stuffed dog' scene was kept in, but he explains it died of pancreatitis years later.
At the end of the film, Eggsy asks for the code to enter the cell holding Princess Tilde. Merlin gives him the code '2625' which if typed into a phone keypad, would spell both "cock" and "anal". There soon follows a bare naked shot of Princess Tilde's buttocks, and combining those two words suggests what happens next.
In Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot is "The Brave", and Sir Galahad is "The Pure." Therefore, it is fitting that Eggsy does not earn the title of Lancelot, and instead goes on to take Harry's place as Galahad, as Eggsy demonstrates repeatedly in the film, that he is pure of heart, and Roxy earns the Lancelot title, by conquering her fear.
The end joke is intended as an R-rated version of the classic Bond movie end jokes. Matthew Vaughn said: "The whole movie is a post-modern love letter to spy films, and as a kid watching Moonraker (1979), I hear 'Bond is about to attempt re-entry, Sir'. (The end of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" features a shot of Princess Tilde's buttocks). I remember that line. So we've blown peoples heads up, we've had massacres in churches, we've pushed the boundaries, we should at least have the classic spy movie end joke, and do the R-rated version."
The ending pays tribute to Bond movies, when Eggsy returns to the princess' cell. Several Bond films ended with Bond being "caught" in bed with a woman. Here, Merlin must close his computer screen as Eggsy make his move on the Princess.
Towards the end of the movie, right after Roxy has destroyed one of the satellites belonging to Valentine, he plans to use another existing satellite to complete the network. He is heard saying "Hey E, it's V" ("V" for Valentine). The person called "E", is Elon Musk. Referencing him both with this, and SpaceX, an aerospace company paying tribute to Elon Musk's plan of launching hundreds of satellites to space soon, to provide worldwide accessible internet access.
Specifically, the world-domination scheme of the film's arch-villain, Richmond Valentine, is that it posits that the global population has swelled to uncontrollable levels, so it requires culling. His deadly plan is to produce SIM cards that he will distribute freely around the world, and which will both stimulate aggression, and reduce inhibition. They'll literally cause people to tear each other apart, save for a select few chosen for their intelligence, power, and beauty. With protective chips implanted into the heads of these elite, Valentine has rounded them up and transported them to his secret base. Source comic book writer Mark Millar has said: "I 'borrowed' the idea from a professor I met from Glasgow University. He had explained to me that if the Reptilian complex at the very base of the human brain was activated, we would be extremely territorial and aggressive, and ultimately destroy each other. There's a radio frequency that drives everyone nuts."
A week after the movie premiered, it was revealed that SIM card maker Gemalto, who are responsible for billions of SIM cards around the world, were compromised by British and U.S. Intelligence Services. Several government bodies had all their SIM cards replaced as a precaution. Rogue SIM cards are a major plot device in the movie.
Harry Hart references the movie Trading Places (1983) to Eggsy, asking him if he's ever seen it. Later in the movie, when Eggsy first puts the suit in the airplane, Merlin compliments him by saying, "Looking good Eggsy". To which Eggsy replies, "Feeling good, Merlin". This is the same line in the last scene of Trading Places (1983), said between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd's characters, "Looking good Billy Ray!" - "Feeling good, Louis!"
Aside from Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin's mother attempting to harm her daughter, there is never any violence directed at or around a child in any of the heavy fighting scenes. All locations of fighting are strictly with adults against other adults. It is also noted that there are no children that fall victim to the "kill-switch" devices implanted by villain Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).
The Kingsmen are considered to be latter-day, modern-times equivalents of the Knights of the Round Table from Arthurian legend. Such legendary character names are used as the Agents code-names in the film. These include Arthur, Merlin, Galahad, and Lancelot. When Roxy becomes a Kingsman Agent, she is not called a female Arthurian legend name such as Guinevere, though, she gets the Lancelot name.
Eggsy named his dog J.B. after Jack Bauer, the hero of 24 (2001). Yet he failed a test used twice in that show. These were (1) proving allegiance by pointing a gun (actually safe) at an ally and (2) squeezing the trigger.
The clock Valentine runs during the movie's climax is the "V-day" clock likely referencing a doomsday clock. However, if successful, V-day or Valentine's day would be a worldwide massacre or a "Valentine's Day Massacre" so it could also be a reference to the infamous massacre in Chicago.
All of the Kingmen Agents have names of the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table. Although Merlin is a part of the organization, he is not an Agent. Therefore, Merlin would not drink around the table when an Agent dies.
When Harry is deliberately lying to get out of the church he says he has a "black Jewish boyfriend". Had this been true, it would've been the third film for Colin Firth to play a gay man, after Mamma Mia (2008) and A Single Man (2009).