‘Kingsman’ Director Matthew Vaughn Wanted Elton John in the First Film

Kim Taylor-Foster

Of Matthew Vaughn’s two big planned reveals in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, only one has been kept successfully under wraps. And it’s not Colin Firth’s return in the role of ‘dead’ spy Harry Hart. His character was shot and left for dead in the seminal church scene in The Secret Service, the first Kingsman film. The film’s marketing team spoiled that one, the director laments.

No, the one that’s been kept a closely guarded secret is Elton John’s role. Though we knew he was set to appear in the movie, we didn’t know in what capacity. But believe us when we say never mind Colin Firth, Sir Elton is the best thing about Kingsman 2. And could have been the best thing about Kingsman 1.

Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman talk to FANDOM about Elton John’s involvement in the franchise.

Elton John Was “An Idiot” To Turn Down The First

Elton John with Matthew Vaughn at the world premiere of Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Photo: James Gillham / Stillmoving.net for Fox

It was seeing the first film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, that persuaded Sir Elton to sign up after initially refusing a role in the first instalment.

“I actually wanted him in Kingsman 1 and he turned it down,” says Vaughn. “I thought in Kingsman 1 it would be very funny. I was thinking: ‘Who would be the worst person Valentine could kidnap and have to deal with every day?’ And I thought Elton would be a pretty tough prisoner to keep happy. And he said no to it.

“Then I just got in touch one more time and said: ‘Look, I know you said no to the first, is there anything I can do try and persuade you to do the second one?’ And he said: ‘Look, I was an idiot in not doing the first one. I’m in. No matter what you want me to do I’ll be there and give it my best.’”

Funny Bones

Jane Goldman expands on Vaughn’s revelations.

“The idea of Elton John in certain situations, circumstances, reacting in a certain way just always made [Matthew and me] laugh enormously. And actually, weirdly, a lot of it was material that we had wanted to include in the first film,” she says.

She goes on to explain: “We had a slightly expanded storyline there where Richmond Valentine, the bad guy from the first movie, was kidnapping people he wanted to survive the apocalypse to keep them safe. We’d written a lot of this material that had just made us both laugh and we had to cut it for time and servicing the other storylines but we suddenly realised that actually wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could still include that stuff?

“And I think Matthew and I both have quite an absurdist sense of humour, and [his inclusion] just really appealed to that. We couldn’t have been more grateful for what an incredible trouper and what a funny guy Elton John is, and he completely got what was funny about it and went with it and was improvising a lot of stuff that was even better than we could have dreamed.”

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is out in the UK from September 20 and in the US from September 22.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.