In a move that’s not entirely surprising, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios is pushing the release date of the upcoming Kingsman prequel The King’s Man out of 2020 entirely. The film had been scheduled to open on September 18th of this year, but is now being moved to February 26, 2021. This is the latest in a series of delays for the movie, as it was originally supposed to be released in November 2019 but was then pushed to February 2020 after Disney completed its purchase of 20th Century Fox and opted to shuffle up its release calendar. Disney then shifted the movie into September 2020, but you can chalk this latest release date delay up to the pandemic.
Indeed, while some studios are still trying to get their films in theaters this fall, Disney has taken a more conservative approach (mostly). Aside from The New Mutants, which is being all-but-dumped into theaters this Friday with zero press screenings, Disney has mostly abandoned the fall. Mulan is going directly to Disney+ as a premium VOD title, The King’s Man is shifting, and all eyes are on whether Black Widow will really open in October. Theaters are now open in states where they’re legally allowed to, but new releases beyond Tenet and New Mutants are scant, and experts are anticipating another potential surge of COVID cases as fall hits and schools open.
All of this to say, moving The King’s Man to 2021 is probably the right call. Matthew Vaughn, who helmed the first two Kingsman movies, returns to direct this World War I-set prequel that tells the origin story of Kingsman. Ralph Fiennes takes center stage and Harris Dickinson plays his young apprentice, but the cast of characters also includes Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Bruhl, and last but not least Rhys Ifans as Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin.
But this move also signals Disney-Fox’s desire for The King’s Man to open in theaters rather than being released as a premium VOD title, so I suppose that’s good news. It’s presumably R-rated so a Disney+ release was out of the question.
Check out the most recent trailer for the film below.