The following post contains SPOILERS for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but they’re all in the trailer, so if you’ve watched that you’re already spoiled.

Here is the trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle:

If you’ve seen Kingsman: The Secret Service, the first time you saw that clip you were probably just as surprised as Taron Egerton’s Eggsy. Colin Firth’s Harry Hart? Alive? But he was, like, super-duper dead in the last movie! It wasn’t one of those “We never saw the body!” deaths, either. Samuel L. Jackson shot him in the face. Generally speaking, that’s pretty permanent.

The trailers don’t explain how Harry is alive, but they don’t make any secret of his resurrection, essentially ruining one of the film’s biggest twists. If you’re spoilerphobic, you couldn’t have been too pleased about this. And neither was Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn. As he put it to IGN, it was “stupidity” to put a not-dead Colin Firth in the Golden Circle trailer:

Well, I’m not in charge of marketing. The thinking about that was stupidity, to be blunt. I begged the studio not to reveal it. Because it’s the whole driving force of the first act and if you didn’t know that scene it would’ve made the whole audience gasp. So you have to ask the lovely marketing guys because I think their job is to open the movie and don’t really care about the experience of the movie.

It’s a tough job to sell a movie. If you’ve got an Oscar winner in your film, that’s something you want to tell prospective customers. Firth was great in the first Kingsman (and he’s great in the new one too); the franchise wouldn’t be the same without him. But the experience of watching the sequel isn’t the same knowing he’s in it, either.

We’ll never know how many millions Colin Firth’s half-shaven face added to The Golden Circle’s opening weekend box office. But if they had managed to keep his involvement a secret (no easy task, to be sure) the people who did see the film might have been more excited by the major surprise, and could have given the film a better word-of-mouth reaction. Either way, it’s interesting to see just how little control some directors (even successful ones like Vaughn) have over their trailers.

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