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Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum and Colin Firth star in Matthew Vaughn’s spy sequel ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’
20th Century Fox

Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you don’t want to know key plot points in Kingsman: The Golden Circle

With its stylized, campy spy world set around Colin Firth and Taron EgertonKingsman: The Golden Circle isn’t the kind of movie that viewers would expect to make a political statement.

But Matthew Vaughn appears to signal less-than-subtle political messaging, frequently cutting to Fox News talking heads discussing a U.S. president (Bruce Greenwood) who ends up being corrupt, conniving and deep in serious legal problems. 

The British director says he’s been asked frequently about the political context.

“A lot of people watching are going, ‘Is that based on Trump?’ ” says Vaughn. “It’s one of those weird zeitgeist things.”

The sequel teams the U.K. spies of Kingsman with their American counterparts in Statesman to thwart villain Poppy (Julianne Moore), who threatens to kill the world’s drug users with poison she’s planted in the drug supply unless the president pays a ransom for the antidote. But the president has his own sinister intention: to let all drug users die in quarantine.

When his plan is foiled, he’s led off in handcuffs while Fox’s news scroll blasts “PRESIDENT IMPEACHED.” The White House chief of staff (Emily Watson), also named Fox, promises a smooth transition of power.

So why Fox News? Because the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox, is owned by the same parent company.

“It’s just easier sometimes,” says Vaughn. “We save money, we don’t have to build the sets. It’s not a political statement, it’s about ease.”

Vaughn says any perceived parallels between Trump, who has called the investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign a “witch hunt,” and the president seen in the movie are coincidence. 

“The idea of Trump being president and England leaving the European Union…