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Kingsman: The Golden Circle footage hailed at early press preview

Fox screened the first act for press members in London

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Giles Keyte

Members of the press gathered in London on Friday for an early look at some of 20th Century Fox’s upcoming films, including Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Director Matthew Vaughn was on hand to discuss the rip-roaring sequel to his gentlemanly but R-rated spy movie, but first, attendees sat back as Fox screened footage from the film’s first act.

Early reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Reporters hailed the extended preview as “awesome,” “insane,” and “freakin’ amazing,” and Julianne Moore as “delightfully vicious” and “brutal” in her performance as Poppy, a Martha Stewart-like global entrepreneur with dangerous plans.

Taron Egerton made his debut as street-to-suave super-spy Eggsy in Kingsman: The Secret Service, and he returns here with Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, Pedro Pascal, and Elton John. Colin Firth also makes a surprise comeback, despite his character’s apparent death in the first film.

The sequel sees agents of The Kingsman crossing paths with The Statesman, the American equivalent of the British spy society, to put a stop to Poppy’s plans. See the first reactions below.

Vaughn planned the Kingsman films as a trilogy, and he confirmed he’s already working up a third film with more than four months to go before the release of the second. “When we were writing [The Golden Circle], we were thinking about Kingsman 3, too,” the filmmaker told reporters (via Variety). “This is the bridge, if we can pull it off and get to make another one.”

“Just doing a sequel, you’re kind of violating that promise of originality,” the director told EW on the film’s set. “Sequelitis is a plague I have no interest in contracting.” For Egerton, “If the first Kingsman was Captain America, then this is very much The Avengers now”

Kingsman: The Golden Circle will open in theaters on Sep. 29.