Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen Is Getting The Franchise Treatment

Brace yourself for more gentlefolk.

Matthew Mcconaughey in The Gentlemen

Guy Ritchie is not well-known for sequels. The director is certainly open to them, but apart from his Sherlock Holmes duology, none of his big-screen offerings have earned a follow-up. That’s not for lack of trying: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was supposed to sire a six-film franchise, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E might have followed a similar path. But despite Ritchie’s lofty plans and the modest fandoms springing up around his best ideas, his efforts are usually better spent on standalone stories.

The Gentlemen seemed like one of those standalones. It told a somewhat simple story and assembled a group of actors with mass appeal: Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, and Henry Golding starred as members of dueling criminal enterprises. Their tangled turf war was infused with a swaggering, occasionally offensive wit, and effectively married Ritchie’s glossy modern aesthetic with the crunchy grit of his early films.

For all its merits, no one really expected the film to get a sequel, possibly because it had the misfortune of premiering in January 2020 and being overshadowed by COVID. That said, Ritchie’s most underrated film is about to get a spinoff series also called The Gentlemen. Prepare for the inevitable confusion.

While the show is set in the Gentleverse, it follows a new crop of characters. Theo James takes the lead as Eddie Horniman, a surly aristocrat who inherits his estranged father’s title as the Duke of Halstead. When he discovers the family business is entangled in a criminal enterprise, Eddie finds himself fending off kingpins like Bobby Glass (Ray Winstone), who controls a cannabis empire on London’s East End. Netflix provided a detailed synopsis:

We meet Eddie Horniman as he inherits his father’s sizable estate… only to discover it’s part of a weed empire. Moreover, a host of unsavory elements of Britain’s criminal underworld want a piece of the operation. Determined to extricate his family from their clutches, Eddie tries to play the gangsters at their own game. However, as he gets sucked into the world of criminality, he begins to find a taste for it.

“The world of The Gentlemen is a little bit of me,” Ritchie told Netflix. “We’re looking forward to bringing fans back into that world, introducing new characters and their stories, and I am excited to be doing it with this extremely talented cast.”

The Gentlemen also stars Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito, and Vinnie Jones, but there’s no word on whether any of the cast of the original Gentlemen could appear. It’s theoretically possible we could get an appearance from McConaughey’s Mickey Pearson, who’s also something of a cannabis connoisseur. Time will tell, but it’s nice to see some of Ritchie’s plans finally coming to fruition.

The Gentlemen premieres on Netflix in March 2024.

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