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The upcoming star-studded spy thriller Argylle movie has stirred up more mystery than its plot. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Dua Lipa, Catherine O’Hara, Ariana De Bose, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson and more. Although the screenplay was written by Jason Fuchs, it’s apparently inspired by the book of the same name, written by Elly Conway — whose name appears as Bryce’s character in the film. The only problem is that no one knows who Elly is. Thanks to her mysterious persona, fans have speculated whether she is actually Taylor Swift using a pseudonym and is the brains behind the story.
Did Taylor Swift Write ‘Argylle’?
According to the film’s cast and crew, no — Taylor did not write the book nor the movie. Argylle was published earlier this year, whereas the film is set to hit theaters in February 2024.
Director Matthew Vaughn spoke with Variety at the London film premiere of Argylle and noted that the pop star is not the actual mastermind behind the plot.
“It’s not Taylor Swift, but books do not write themselves,” the filmmaker noted, adding, “I wish they did. I wish screenplays wrote themselves. I wish movies directed themselves. There is [an] Elly Conway. I am begging Elly Conway to come out of the shadows because this Taylor Swift thing freaked me out. And it’s going to happen. … There is a real book, and it’s a really good real book.”
Even Argylle star Bryan Cranston was approached about the Taylor Swift rumors. While the Breaking Bad alum praised the recording artist, he pointed out that Elly is “very real.”
“It’s very real. I can’t confirm or deny the rumors about Ms. Swift,” Bryan said. “I wouldn’t put it past her, she’s certainly capable of writing a novel or several novels. But I really shouldn’t say any more.”
While speaking with Entertainment Tonight that week, John Cena pointed out that both Argylle and Taylor benefitted from the social media rumors.
“It speaks volumes of how influential she can be and, of course, it’s great for people to be aware of our film,” he told the outlet. “We want people to see Argylle ’cause it’s entertaining, and if Taylor Swift and her fanbase can be a vocal voice for us … It’s a movie about being a spy — you know, the greater the spy the bigger the lie — so, to start off a marketing campaign or a push for awareness with some misdirection and deception, it couldn’t be a better movie it happened to.”
The rumors began in 2023 when Swifties pointed to clues about the film’s plot. First of all, Bryce’s character walks around with her pet cat in a pet backpack that is similar to Taylor’s, which was shown in her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana. Taylor has also used fake names to collaborate on projects, such as Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For,” so internet sleuths became convinced that Taylor adopted the name Elly Conway to write the book.
Finally, since Taylor dipped her toe into filmmaking with the All Too Well short film, her fanbase believes that her ability to create stories goes a longer way than people are aware of.
Who Is the Author of ‘Argylle’?
As the cast and crew of the film have said, Elly Conway is the author who inspired their movie. However, the mysterious writer has stayed out of the public eye, even with the release of her first novel.
Per Penguin Randomhouse, Elly “lives somewhere in the United States” and “was born and raised in upstate New York. She wrote her first novel about Agent Argylle while working as a waitress in a late-night diner.”
Prior to the release of her book, The Hollywood Reporter published an in-depth exploration of who the unknown novelist is. The publication pointed out that Elly’s Instagram account has zero posts and only follows one person.
Is Elly Conway a Real Person?
According to the Argylle cast and crew, Elly is unquestionably a real person. Nevertheless, her identity remains a mystery, since no one has seen her attend public events yet nor post photos of herself to any public accounts.
What Is ‘Argylle’ About?
The movie focuses on a shy novelist named Elly Conway (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), who rarely leaves her house. She is working on a spy thriller book and is quickly sucked into the reality of espionage. Aidan (played by Henry Cavill) comes in to save her, Elly and her cat, Alfie, must face a world where nothing is as it appears.
Penguin RandomHouse’s synopsis of the book reads, “One Russian magnate’s dream of restoring a nation to greatness has set in motion a chain of events which will take the world to the brink of chaos. Only Frances Coffey, the CIA’s most legendary spymaster, can prevent it. But to do so, she needs someone special. Enter Argylle, a troubled agent with a tarnished past who may just have the skills to take on one of the most powerful men in the world. If only he can save himself first …”