Newcomer Sophie Cookson has signed on to play the female lead in The Secret Service. Director Matthew Vaughn had considered Emma Watson and Bella Heathcote for the role, but he wanted a fresh face, a strategy he employed when casting up and coming actor Tanson Egerton last month.

Colin Firth stars as a veteran secret service agent who teaches a young girl (Sophie Cookson) the ropes of this trade. Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine also star.

Matthew Vaughn is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jane Goldman, based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' comic book series. The director is also producing under his Marv Films company, with 20th Century Fox set to distribute. Sophie Cookson is best known for her role in the British mini-series Moonfleet starring Ray Winstone.

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This isn't the first time director Matthew Vaughn has turned to lesser-known actors for his movies. Both Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz were virtual unknowns before being cast in 2010's Kick-Ass, and James Bond star Daniel Craig first made waves with Matthew Vaughn's directorial debut Layer Cake, before landing the 007 role in Casino Royale.