Kingsman co-creator Mark Millar has shared a behind-the-scenes photo from Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Golden Circle that reveals an alternate fate for Mark Strong's Merlin.
Towards the end of The Golden Circle, Merlin sacrifices himself by stepping on a mine. However, the original intention was to have the character survive the film. Posting on Twitter, Millar revealed a shot of Mark Strong as Merlin at Eggsy's wedding. While Millar doesn't explain why there was a change of heart with Merlin's fate, it's ultimately a decision that fans will have to live with.
A very rarely seen picture, Mark Strong at Eggsy's wedding at the end of Golden Circle and filmed before the decision to off that bold Scot... https://t.co/OHDbW8mQ5r— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) January 13, 2019
The climax of The Golden Circle featured Jeff Bridges' Champagne purchasing a distillery in Scotland and helping to rebuild the Kingsman. Eggsy's wedding was attended by the likes of Champagne, Colin Firth's Galahad, Channing Tatum's Tequila and Halle Berry's Ginger Ale. Millar's photo proves that Merlin was supposed to survive the sequel. Interestingly, the final cut of The Golden Circle features someone in Merlin's outfit, out of view and standing next to Berry, hinting that Merlin just might return.
Merlin played a key role in both Kingsman movies and served as Eggsy's gruff mentor in The Golden Circle. As the comments on Millar's post show, the decision to kill Merlin remains a divisive one among fans, with many saying Vaughn made a big mistake. Still, Merlin's stirring rendition of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is one The Golden Circle's highlights.
A Kingsman prequel set in 1918 is currently in the works. Elsewhere, there are plans for Egerton and The Golden Circle's surviving cast members to return for a third main series movie.
The third movie, Kingsman: The Great Game, is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 9.