Is ‘The Gentlemen’ Film Connected To 2024 Netflix Series? Easter Eggs & References, Explained


Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of Guy Ritchie’s extensive work in the crime drama genre. He started things off with Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and continued to build on his visual storytelling and complex narratives. In 2019, he made The Gentlemen, which had gangsters, weird protagonists, even weirder antagonists, illegal items, and a dash of action. But, surprisingly enough, it was also a meditation on why he makes these kinds of movies and the techniques he employs to keep them interesting. You see, he has been labeled as someone who opts for style over substance. So, he literally put a storyteller (an unreliable narrator) in the eye of the storm who was pitching a movie based on a real-life story and showing why spicing things up for the sake of entertainment was more interesting than just presenting cold, hard facts. 

Now, after (or while) making four movies back-to-back, Ritchie is here with a Netflix spin-off series, also called The Gentlemen. Hence, the big question is: should you watch the film to understand the series? Well, technically, you don’t have to because there aren’t any plot-related connections between the movie and the series. There are echoes of the movie in the series. So, I’ll list them down for you, and then you can decide for yourself if you have two-ish hours to spare in addition to the 8 hours you have to dedicate to the series.

Spoiler Alert

Bobby Glass and Mickey Pearson’s Weed Empire

Mickey Pearson, in a snazzily edited expository sequence, told Matthew Berger that the United Kingdom was a place that technically didn’t have a lot of land, and the land that was available publicly was either heavily monitored by the government or the general public. That said, since the dukes, the duchesses, and their castles were on a downhill slide, it gave people like Mickey the opportunity to appear before them as a guardian angel and save them from total bankruptcy. Mickey would take their land, build underground marijuana farms, and give a portion of their profits to the dukes or duchess who “owned” the land. Eddie’s father, the former Duke of Halstead, had a similar agreement with Bobby and Susie Glass. Both Pearson and Glass had 12 or 13 underground weed farms scattered all over the United Kingdom. Pearson didn’t get any pushback from the royals because he was helping them out and their children. However, Bobby and Susie Glass had to face Eddie’s little rebellion, as he wanted them to move out of the Halstead estate. Eventually, he became a part of it, thereby making him an active member of the weed empire rather than someone who passively took a paycheck. By the way, you can draw a parallel between Mickey Pearson and Stanley Johnston (with a “T”) because both of them were Americans with a particular interest in the British estates.

Mickey Pearson and Tommy Dixon’s Fishing Business

Mickey Pearson used his fish distribution outlet, Piked Fine Fish, to send his weed all over the United Kingdom and maybe all over the world. Tommy Dixon used his fishing business to send out cocaine. Pearson used his freezer to store dead bodies and to make Matthew pay for his insolence. Tommy Dixon used the freezer to do the same to Freddy Horniman after he took 4 million pounds (which eventually became 8 million pounds because of the high-interest rate) from him and then failed to repay it.

Rosalind Pearson and Mercy’s Car Business

Susie Glass can feel similar to Rosalind Pearson, Mickey Pearson’s wife, especially because of their presence and costume design. But, if you look at it from a professional perspective, Mercy was closer to Rosalind because both of them were in the expensive car-selling business. The only difference was that Rosalind didn’t allow Mickey’s drugs to enter her domain, and Mercy’s garage was a front for her business of cocaine distribution. Also, the ladies were capable of immense amounts of violence. Maybe Mercy was a little more dangerous with her machete than Rosalind. However, Mercy’s violent tendencies took her to an early grave, while Rosalind’s calm and calculative stance kept her alive all the way to the end of The Gentlemen.

The Jungle and the Class Dynamic

During a heated conversation between Dry Eye and Mickey Pearson, they referred to their business as “the jungle.” At several points in the show, Eddie also talked about the business as “the jungle” and the castles they lived in as “zoos.” I guess it’s to express their brand of machismo. To further the commentary on hierarchy, the movie and the show explored the class dynamics of the characters. Mickey Pearson got to the top by working his way up. He belonged to the lower middle class. He started selling weed. And then one thing led to another, and he became the Mickey Pearson. Therefore, when he started taking over the estates of the royals, there was a sense of satisfaction to be derived from it because someone who was the victim of systemic oppression was flipping the class structure. The same can be said about Bobby Glass. However, Eddie Horniman was a little different. He was born into privilege. Then he sort of rejected it. When he returned home and became the Duke of Halstead, it seemed like he had become super-privileged again. However, the debt accumulated by Freddy knee-capped him. So, in a way, he had to work his way from the ground up. Fletcher described Mickey as a person who was able to deal with the classes and the masses pretty easily, and Susie Glass made a similar comment about Eddie Horniman.

Coach and Tommy Dixon’s Tracksuits

Costume design is an essential aspect of The Gentlemen, the movie and the show, and that was used to draw comparisons between them. The tweed suits, the pant suits, and everything that exists in between were used to express the flamboyance or elegance of the characters. The most noticeable parallel was the tracksuits that Coach, the Toddlers, Tommy Dixon, and Jethro wore. The ones worn by Coach and the Toddlers were checkered, and the ones worn by Tommy and Jethro were kind of velvety. I am not an expert, but that reflected the worldviews of the people who wore them. The checkered style was simple and grounded, and those were the qualities that Coach was trying to inculcate in his boxing students (BTW Jack Glass was into boxing too). Sadly, the Toddlers used it merely as a style statement. Tommy and Jethro were deep into the cocaine-selling business, with no plans of moving away from such illegal activities. Hence, the uncomfortable texture and gaudy colors of their tracksuits. Where did that get them? An early grave.

Eddie, Susie, Mickey, and Raymond love poisoning.

When Lord George betrayed Mickey Pearson, he and Raymond paid Lord George a visit, bribed the cook in his own restaurant, poisoned him (which caused George to puke his guts out), and then gave him the antidote. Mickey basically said that if he could get to George through his food, then he could get to him no matter where he went. There was a similar scene in the Netflix series where Eddie and Susie bribed the waiter in the restaurant where de Groot loved to eat. As he choked to death, Eddie and Susie forced him to reveal the details of the person who was spying on them from the inside. Once they got the answer, they gave de Groot the antidote and told him that if they could get to him through his food, they could get to him from every perceivable angle.

The Storytelling

The Gentlemen, the movie and the series, hinged on non-linear as well as multiple-perspective storytelling. Sometimes, it showed us the future and then revealed the steps leading up to it. Other times, it showed a particular incident happening from one perspective and then showed it from the viewpoint of another person who was present at the scene. The movie and the series used a lot of hand-written, on-screen text to hammer home an important piece of information or to simply make an exposition-heavy scene feel a little fun. Both of them relied heavily on unreliable narrators to make the audience question whether things actually happened the way a character said that they had happened or if they unfolded in a totally different fashion, e.g., Fletcher in the movie and Jimmy in the series. I just wish the series used this meta-storytelling technique to talk about the art of filmmaking like the movie did.

I think those are all the similarities and differences between the movie and the series called The Gentlemen. If there are any other thematic or aesthetic links between the movie and the series, feel free to educate me. It’s apparent that the movie and the series can be enjoyed on their own because they don’t have any obvious connections. They merely echo each other in exciting ways, and if you want to catch all those references, then you should watch the movie and then watch the series. If that’s not something that interests you, then you can walk into the series without watching the movie. However, since I like the movie, I’ll recommend giving it a watch sometime in the future, especially if you like the series. In addition to that, take a stroll through Guy Ritchie’s filmography. He is a very amusing and very busy filmmaker, and it’s time to truly acknowledge what an influential figure he is in the crime drama genre.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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