The most obvious references are the ones that hark back to the spy movies and shows of theÂ â60s and â70s, which inspired Kingsman, includingÂ everything fromÂ the villainâs lair at the end of KingsmanÂ that harks backÂ toÂ the greatest Bond villain hideouts including Blofeldâs volcano lair in You Only Live Twice (pictured) and a changing room that turns into an elevator which has been used in "Man from UNCLE" as well as Marvel's SHIELD comics.
The film opens up with that famous line from Dire Straitâs âMoney for Nothing,â sung by popstar Sting, who appeared in Vaughnâs early production, Guy Ritchieâs Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (co-produced by Stingâs wife Trudi Styler).
Star Warsâ Luke Skywalker plays Dr. James Arnold, a scientist kidnapped inÂ KingsmanÂ although in the comics, itâs the actual Mark Hamill who is kidnapped by the âStar Warsâ fan villain, who is actually Dr. James Arnold in the comics vs. Samuel L. Jacksonâs Richmond Valentine.
Colin Firthâs Harry Hart makes a comment to Eggsy about his situation being a bit like the 1983 Eddie Murphy-Dan Aykroyd comedy about a homeless guy who is brought into the world of high finances, drawing a parallel to Eggsyâs recruitment.
The Def Jam hip-hop mogul was one of the inspirations for Samuel L. Jacksonâs Richmond Valentine, particularly his dress style, complete with NYC baseball cap.
There are plenty of Bond references, but there are also a few sly references to theÂ â60s television show âGet Smart," starring Don Adams, including a nod toÂ the famous shoe phoneÂ he used.
Kingsmen agents are named after the famed knights led by King Arthur with Michael Caine playing Arthur, Colin Firth as Galahad, Mark Strong as Merlin, etc. This might not seem particularly groundbreaking, until you realize that these names werenât use in the comics and that Vaughnâs former collaborator Guy Ritchieâs next movie is about the Knights of the Round Table.
You wouldnât expect either group to show up in the soundtrack of a spy movie, but in fact âFreebirdâ and âGive It Upâ are used during two of the filmâs craziest and most unforgettable action sequences.
Even the movieâs U.S. release date is aÂ clever nod, since it comesÂ out on February 13, the day before a certain Hallmark holiday. It might seem random until you realize that Jacksonâs baddie is named "Valentine" and he sets his masterplan on âV-Day.â So maybe moving the release from last October might make more sense as it pays homage to Jackson's quirky but unforgettable bad guy.
Not really a reference as much as an odd factoid, but Jason FlemyngÂ has appeared in every single one of Vaughnâs films as a director and a number of the films he produced, but heâs noticeably absent in âKingsman." There are a few roles he probably could have playedÂ and we thoughtÂ maybe he appeared in a pivotal church sequence but turns out that's not the case. You can find out why in our upcoming interview with Vaughn.