By Piya Sinha-Roy
April 02, 2019 at 04:01 PM EDT
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Rocking up in well-tailored suits, Henry Golding and Charlie Hunnam looked the perfect part of Guy Ritchie‘s upcoming The Gentlemen on Tuesday, showing off a trailer that promises “vintage Guy Ritchie” in a British crime caper set in the drug world.

Set in England, The Gentlemen dives back into the criminal underworlds that Ritchie has carved a career in exploring, this time crafting a story that takes on the collision of old European money with the modern marijuana business as a British drug lord attempts to sell his business to American cannabis billionaires. In the first tease, Hugh Grant swaps his usually posh self for a monied cockney criminal who urges Hunnam to “play a f—ing game with me” and tells him a story. Matthew McConaughey plays a weed-dealing kingpin, and Golding plays a criminal attempting to make a deal with him.

“The plot begins to thicken,” Grant’s character says. “I can’t be specific about the heroes and zeroes but our protagonist is a hungry animal. There is a lot of money hanging in the balance. Our antagonist goes by the laws of the jungle, explodes onto the scene like a millennial f—ing firework, and has indirectly started a war.”

The film, formerly known as Toff Guys, sees Ritchie return to his Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch roots after directing the more PG-rated musical Disney live-action Aladdin (out May 24). The Gentlemen displays all the Ritchian trademarks — cockney criminals, peak hats and well-tailored plaid suits, shoot-outs in moving vans, car chases, gory deaths, the sole beautiful female in a male-dominated world (Michelle Dockery) and very liberal usage of explicit language. Colin Farrell, Eddie Marsan, and Jeremy Strong also star. STX did not reveal the release date of the film but it is expected either later this year or early 2020.

Debuting the first look at the film at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Hunnam said he had originally discussed the seeds of this film with Ritchie over a three-and-a-half hour chat back when he was auditioning for 2017’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. “We discussed at great lengths the merits of the California marijuana business, which I know small amounts about,” Hunnam quipped. “So then I read this script and then I realized what the nature of that conversation was all about. He’d obviously been cooking this up for a couple of years.”

Golding, who filmed this simultaneously with holiday rom-com Last Christmas, said his first day on set was “this huge scene with Matthew [McConaughey] … and that was the heaviest day possible for a first day.”

Both Hunnam and Golding talked about Ritchie’s process of filming a movie and how the set and script was constantly evolving, often scrapping written scenes to craft an entirely new one with input from the actors. “There’s some sort of weird alchemy to his filmmaking where he’s deeply collaborative and allows everybody to imbue the project with their own philosophy and world views, and yet it goes through the Guy Ritchie filter and unquestionably the result is Guy Ritchie sensibility,” Hunnam said.

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