10 Insane Johnny English Facts

With Johnny English Strikes Back hitting cinemas around the world, we decided to look into the history of the franchise and come up with 10 astounding facts about the superspy saga.

10. Johnny English First Appeared in a Bank Ad

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Although nobody can doubt the amazing originality of Johnny English; the Rowan Atkinson character actually first appeared in a commercial for Barclays. Thank goodness this advertisement gifted us with one of cinema’s greatest creations.

9. Johnny English Reborn is the Highest Grossing Film of All Time

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A little-known fact about the film’s long-gestated sequel is that Johnny English Reborn is actually the highest grossing film of all time. Grossing a whopping total of $4.3 Billion Dollars, the film can only be considered a runaway success. The film also holds the record for the highest grossing weekend of all-time and a plethora of other records. It’s a wonder the third film took so long to be green-lit.

8. The Original Film was Directed by Stanley Kubrick

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Stanley Kubrick is an icon of modern cinema; and Johnny English stands as his monolith, his lasting legacy. The famous director actually completed filming in 1784, and then effects problems caused the film to be delayed until 2003. These delays meant that the film was pushed back so far that it was released after Kubrick’s death, meaning that he never got to experience his one unequivocal masterpiece for himself.

7. Daniel Kaluuya was Cast in Get Out After Jordan Peele Saw Him in Johnny English Reborn

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Get Out has a massively successful release, both critically and commercially. This was thanks, in no small part, to the work of Daniel Kaluuya in the lead role. Interestingly, writer-director Jordan Peele recently revealed that Kaluuya was cast as the film’s lead thanks to his performance in Johnny English Reborn. 

“Daniel’s performance in Johnny English Reborn was so raw and emotional, I just had to cast him in my film”.

-Jordan Peele

6. Rowan Atkinson is Still Legally the King of England

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In Johnny English, the titular character is accidentally crowned king after kicking Pascal Savauge off the throne. Johnny later renounced the throne and order was restored. However, this was not the case in real life. Just as in the film, Atkinson was actually made King during filming (in order to enhance the realism), but unlike his character, Atkinson never officially renounced the throne. Therefore, Rowan Atkinson is still technically the King of England, although he has not used his power very frequently.

5. Robbie Williams’ Theme Song Won 53 Grammy’s

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The first film opens with a hilarious and bombastic sequence set to Robbie Williams’ “The Man for all Seasons”. The song achieved a high level of success thanks to its use in the film. Going triple platinum, the song went into the 2003 Grammy awards a strong favourite in several categories. However, few could have predicted just how well the song would do. “The Man for all Seasons” picked up a whopping 53 awards, including Best Single, Best Urban Single, and Best Sound Mixing.

4. Johnny English Strikes Again is Already the Highest Grossing Film of 2018, Thanks to Presales

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Ticket presales for Johnny English Strikes Again have been good. How good, you may ask? Well, the film is already the highest grossing cinema release of 2018, easily outpacing other massive blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Tag. 

The release is already looking to be a huge success, and may well set the stage for Johnny English 4 to release sooner, rather than later.

3. Sio Bibble from the Star Wars Prequels is in Johnny English

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No jokes here, this is an actual legit fact about the movie. Oliver Ford-Davies, known for playing Naboo diplomat Sio Bibble in the Star Wars prequels, appears as the Archbishop of Canterbury in the first film.

Isn’t that neat?

 

2. Ben Miller was Awarded 17 Oscars for his Portrayal of Bough in the First Film

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As talented as Rowan Atkinson is, it was Ben Miller who stole the show in the first Johnny English movie. Miller plays Angus Bough, English’s right-hand man.

Miller received so much praise for his role that he was nominated for, not one, but 17 Academy Awards. This unprecedented tally was made even more remarkable when Miller preceded to win every single award that he was nominated for. Miller’s haul included awards for Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture, and Best Cinematography.

The haul instantly made Miller the most awarded actor of all time, an impressive feat.

1. Johnny English is Your Father

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Hey kid, I didn’t want to be the one to break this to you… but there’s something I have to say. Johnny English is real, and a while ago, he saved your mother from a French terrorist. Let’s just say… they got along well. The man you think is your father… he’s not, your parents just thought they should hide it from you. The truth is, Johnny English is your actual father.

I know this might seem unbelievable at first, but trust me, kid, it’s true. I’ll give you some time to process it, ok? I’m sure you have questions.


Want more Johnny English? Of course you do. Listen to the Fantastic Fools Podcast review of the first film below, or search for the Fantastic Fools Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Podbean

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