Next month brings the release of Matthew Vaughn’s next movie, Argylle, which has a stacked cast including Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell. Among the other things we know about Argylle is that it follows a novelist who’s sucked into the world of espionage after her novels inadvertently get too close to the very real schemes of a criminal organization. Weirdly though, there’s a rumor going around that Taylor Swift is the author behind Argylle’s source material, and while Vaughn has debunked said rumor, he did admit that the viral theory even convinced his daughter.
To provide some context, when Argylle was announced back in August 2021, it was said to be based off a then-unpublished book by Elly Conway. We’ve since learned that Elly Conway is also the name of Bryce Dallas Howard’s within the 2024 movie release, and the Argylle book itself was finally released on January 9. However, it turns out that “Elly Conway” is a pseudonym, and the author’s real identity remains a mystery. This is what prompted people on social media to guess that Taylor Swift is the woman behind “Elly Conway” and when Rolling Stone brought this up to Matthew Vaughn (via Variety), here’s what he had to say:
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!’ 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.
If you’re wondering why Taylor Swift was chosen out of so many celebrities, it boils down to three key reasons. First, she likes to wear argyle sweaters. Two, as seen in the Argylle trailer, Bryce Dallas Howard’s Elly Conway is accompanied by her Scottish Fold cat, and Swift owns two of those. Three, Howard’s hair in the movie is a similar shade of red to what Swift rocked in “All Too Well” short film. If this all felt like a stretch to you, well, you were right, but rest assured, there is someone behind the Elly Conway pen name out there. Vaughn continued:
There is a real book … and it’s a really good book. 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. 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.
With just a few weeks to go until Argylle’s release, it’s unclear if the real Elly Conway will stand up and reveal herself to the world once the movie’s out, or if she’ll continue to keep that curtain of secrecy surrounding her literary endeavors. It important to mention, though, that although she isn’t Elly, Taylor Swift did inspire the inclusion of the aforementioned Scottish Fold cat (which belongs to Matthew Vaughn and his wife Claudia Schiffer), because in addition to the ones she owned, she also included one of these felines in the Netflix documentary Miss Americana. So the popular singer’s influence will be felt on Argylle after all in a significant way.
Argylle opens in theaters on February 2, and it will eventually become available to stream with an Apple TV+ subscription. Those of you looking to get your fill of Taylor Swift can buy or rent her 2023 concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which killed during its opening weekend at the box office.