Inside ‘Argylle’: Matthew Vaughn’s Spy Movie Insights

MANILA, Philippines—In the midst of the 2020 lockdown, renowned filmmaker Matthew Vaughn, known for “The Kingsman” series and films like “Kick-Ass” and “Stardust,” took the opportunity to curate a film appreciation class at his home outside London for his wife, Claudia Vaughn, and their two daughters.

Inspired by the cinematic magic of Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” Vaughn embarked on a mission to create a similar thrilling adventure tailored for his daughters. The catalyst for this vision came unexpectedly when he received the manuscript for Elly Conway’s unpublished spy novel, “Argylle.”

Although captivated by the novel’s essence, Vaughn, renowned for his daring and innovative filmmaking, envisioned “Argylle” as more than a traditional adaptation, using the book as a creative springboard for an entirely new and original cinematic experience.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Vaughn and screenwriter Jason Fuchs crafted a screenplay with a significant meta-shift, transforming “Argylle” into a film centered around the real-life author of the novel, Elly Conway. The story now follows a reclusive spy novelist catapulted into real-world espionage when her fictional plots mirror the activities of a sinister spy organization.

Vaughn’s aim is not to reinvent the genre but to offer a fresh perspective, directing with the audience in mind and incorporating unexpected elements to keep the narrative feeling new.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Upon reading the screenplay for “Argylle,” Bryce Dallas Howard, portraying Elly Conway, was immediately captivated. “This is a spy thriller like you’ve never seen before, and I couldn’t believe it,” Howard expresses. She also commends the film’s distinctive action sequences, stating, “When you sign on to a Matthew Vaughn film, you know there’s going to be a lot of action, conceived in a way that is incredibly fresh. In this film, the action sequences were a hybrid between dance and martial arts.”

Bryce Dallas Howard is part of the star-studded cast of “Argylle,” which includes Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Samuel L. Jackson, Ariana DeBose, and Dua Lipa. Director Matthew Vaughn encourages viewers to experience the film in cinemas, emphasizing the shared thrill and enjoyment with fellow moviegoers.

Vaughn believes that the cinema provides a unique space for society to connect on a deeply human level, offering a grand and immersive experience for “Argylle,” filled with unexpected moments best enjoyed on the big screen.

“Argylle,” an Apple Original Film in association with MARV and Cloudy, distributed by Universal Pictures, hits cinemas on January 31. #ArgylleMoviePH