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Argylle director responds to rumours Taylor Swift secretly wrote film

Matthew Vaughn says even his own daughter was convinced by online fan theory

Kevin E G Perry
Tuesday 16 January 2024 19:10 GMT
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Argylle trailer

Argylle director Matthew Vaughn has denied that Taylor Swift is the mysterious author whose book inspired his new spy thriller.

The forthcoming Apple TV+ film, which stars Henry Cavill as the titular spy, is based on a manuscript written by pseudonymous author “Elly Conway”. Elly Conway is also the name of the film’s protagonist, played by Bryce Dallas Howard.

The film rights to the manuscript were apparently bought in a $200 million deal before it was adapted by screenwriter Jason Fuchs.

Because of the mystery surrounding Conway’s real identity, many Taylor Swift fans online became convinced that the singer had written the book. They pointed to clues including Swift’s penchant for argyle sweaters, and the film’s inclusion of a Scottish Fold cat. Swift owns two Scottish Folds named Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson.

However, in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Kingsman and Kick Ass director Vaughn shot the rumour down.

“I’m not a big internet guy, and it was actually my daughter who came up to me – this is the power of celebrity and the internet – and said, ‘You never told me Taylor wrote the book!’” said Vaughn. “And I’m looking at her going, ‘What are you talking about Taylor Swift wrote the book? She didn’t write the book!’ And I was laughing because I was like, ‘It’s not true! She didn’t write the book!’ But my daughter was convinced of it.”

Matthew Vaughn with a copy of Elly Conway’s ‘Argylle’ (left) and Taylor Swift (Getty)

“There is a real book… and it’s a really good book,” he continued. “And there is an Elly Conway who wrote the book, but it’s not Taylor Swift. And I say that because I imagine Taylor Swift has a load of people trying to jump on her bandwagon left, right, and center, and I don’t want to be a part of that club. I did read the conspiracies and I was like, wow, they don’t leave a stone unturned! But it’s not Taylor Swift. She definitely didn’t write the book.”

Vaughn did admit that Swift had unintentionally inspired the film’s feline star. The cat featured in Argylle is Vaughn’s own cat, which his supermodel wife Claudia Schiffer was convinced to welcome into their family by their daughters after watching Swift’s documentary Miss Americana.

“Ironically, what she is responsible for is the Scottish Fold,” said Vaughn. “I got home one day, it was Christmas, and I was like, ‘What the f*** is that noise?’ And I’m running around the house and I hear a noise, and the kids had seen a Taylor Swift documentary and there was a Scottish Fold in that, and they’d persuaded my wife, Claudia, to get them the kitten for Christmas. It was bought without my permission and hidden from me.”

Vaughn’s new film also stars Sam Rockwell, Ariana DeBose, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Samuel L. Jackson, Dua Lipa, and Catherine O’Hara.

Argylle will arrive in cinemas on 2 February.

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