Coming off his biggest box office yet with Disney’s live-action Aladdin, director Guy Ritchie is going back to his wheelhouse for his next film The Gentlemen. In the vein of classic Ritchie films like Snatch, The Gentlemen features British gangsters and a meeting of subcultures from across the pond — and EW has your exclusive first look at the project.
The Gentlemen stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant. Its premise follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him.
“What I wanted to do was to bring subcultures together from both sides of the Atlantic,” Ritchie tells EW. “An American comes to England to be clever and get a job in the conventional fashion, but then takes his smarts through his connections at Oxford and realizes there’s more money to be made in the marijuana game, and capitalizes on the entrepreneurial New World spirit with the comfortable and exciting juxtaposition of British aristocracy. So what I wanted was British aristocracy, New World American drive, and all of the fun to be had with bringing those two worlds together. Marijuana’s kind of fun, but nevertheless serious and there’s money involved.”
“It does feel like i’m on familiar territory here,” Ritchie continues. “I loved making Aladdin, but this is obviously a very different world. We did them both in the same year. It was great to do both and sort of oscillate to the other polarity. That, I think we have done.” The Gentlemen is set to hit theaters on Jan. 24, 2020.