There were rumours that Matthew Vaughn might re-team with his Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the similarly Mark Millar-sourced The Secret Service. Then names like Jack O'Connell and John Boyega started coming up. But Vaughn seems now to havegone with an absolute newcomer, casting Taron Egerton in the plum role of Colin Firth's spy-in-training nephew.
The deal isn't quite done yet, but negotiations are now underway: negotiations that one would imagine will simply involve Egerton saying YES. His sole screen credit to date is an episode of ITV's Lewis (two-parter The Ramblin' Boy), although he's got some Royal Court and National Theatre work under his belt. Variety reports that he doesn't even have an agent at the moment. That ought to change very soon.
The Secret Service, if you're new here, is a Millar comic about an old-school Bond type who takes his street-smart nephew under his wing to train him in the family business (we probably shouldn't mention Stormbreaker at this point). First mission: foiling a celebrity kidnap. Vaughn has written the screenplay with his usual cohort Jane Goldman, and the film is set up at Fox, who emerged triumphant after their own kick-ass battle for the rights.
Shooting starts soon-ish for a pencilled-in release towards the end of next year. Michael Caine was confirmed at Comic-Con to play Firth's spymaster, so the next job is to find the female lead (possibly Emma Watson or Bella Heathcote, say the rumour-mongers). There's also the issue of the villain, for whom Vaughn wants "a high profile star"...
For more from Millar, hit the Empire Podcast.