EXCLUSIVE: Henry Cavill rocked the internet with his spiky new hairdo in the first trailer for Argylle. While the suave star is not available to promote the film right now, Universal Pictures invited Vital Thrills to have an exclusive chat at New York Comic Con with the action comedy’s esteemed director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman)!
The filmmaker was happy to discuss Cavill, as well as how he was inspired by his own daughters to make a movie in the spirit of Romancing the Stone. Argylle is set to hit theaters on February 2, 2024 and will be available on Apple TV+ at a later date.
Vital Thrills: When I last spoke to you in 2019, The King’s Man hadn’t come out yet, but you were so chuffed that you got away with making that under the studio system because it was basically an original movie under the guise of IP. Now with Argylle, you’re making a totally original movie on a big scale. How do you keep getting away with it?
Matthew Vaughn: For this one I had to write a check out. During lockdown I felt it even more. I watched a lot of old movies with my kids, and my girls went bananas for Romancing the Stone. They said, “why is no one making moves like this?” So then I thought about it and I had this idea… I’d read the book of Argylle and thought, “oh, my God, I could do this.”
But it’s more meta. The idea for me is we actually shot book four because book one I didn’t know how to launch as an IP. But I loved the idea of imagining that J.K. Rowling, after book three of Harry Potter, a wizard turned up.
“That’s pretty interesting what you’ve done, but I’m a real wizard…” She’s like, “What the f?” Then her world collapses, but she actually learns from the other side. I thought I could create a new IP, and then we do book one next. So yeah, my mind is pretty fed up.
Vital Thrills: You mentioned the Romancing the Stone aspect, and you’re embracing that. That’s a beautiful movie, but it’s interesting because back in the ’80s it was interesting to see that dynamic between what a woman’s fantasy was and what the reality was.
Nowadays you have this whole conversation about toxic masculinity thrown into the mix. Are you able to integrate some of those current cultural ideas into this meta concept?
Matthew Vaughn: I have two daughters, what do you think? You think they’re gonna allow me to go, “Hey, this is what a man should be. Women should do this.” So that’s one of the reasons why with book one I was like, “Oh, wait, hold on. I don’t think I can’t get away with this, but by doing book four…”
That’s one of the things about this movie, playing with the tropes that I’m guilty of making and turning them on their heads. Henry is what you’d imagine as James Bond. You ain’t imagining Sam Rockwell as James Bond… unless it’s Casino Royale with Peter Sellers!
Vital Thrills: You’ve mentioned that you pulled Cavill in specifically for the James Bond factor. It’s hard to think of another actor who’s been kind of a Bond stand-in for so many other movies like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible. Do you think he’s done that type so much now that he could never really be cast as Bond?
Matthew Vaughn: If you’re right for the role you’re right for the role, and he would be… I think if Ian Fleming was alive he’d be the person he would pick. I genuinely believe that.
Henry is really a gentleman, and he’s tough. He’s smart. He looks great. He’s the Bond of the books. As for the modern Bond, I don’t know, but if you’re going to cast someone straight off the page… it’s Henry Cavill.
The greater the spy, the bigger the lie. From the twisted mind of Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise, Kick-Ass) comes Argylle, a razor-witted, reality-bending, globe-encircling spy thriller. Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World franchise) is Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie.
But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books — which center on secret agent Argylle and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate — begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past.
Accompanied by Aiden (Oscar winner Sam Rockwell), a cat-allergic spy, Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur.
The top-flight ensemble cast features Henry Cavill (The Witcher), John Cena (Fast X), Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Grammy-winning pop superstar Dua Lipa (Barbie), and Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad).
The cast also includes Emmy winner and comedy icon Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), and the legendary Samuel L. Jackson. Alfie is played by Chip, the real-life cat of supermodel Claudia Vaughn (née Schiffer).
Argylle is directed and produced by Matthew Vaughn, from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs. The Universal Pictures release is produced by Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, Jason Fuchs, and David Reid. The executive producers are Adam Fishbach, Zygi Kamasa, Carlos Peres and Claudia Vaughn.
Max Evry has been a film journalist since 2005, serving at various times as a writer, interviewer, graphic designer, podcaster, video creator, features editor, and managing editor. Past media outlets have included MTV, /Film, IGN, and Fangoria. For home video companies Arrow, Kino Lorber, Indicator, and Via Vision he has provided Blu-ray audio commentaries as well as featurettes for classic and contemporary films including “Flatliners,” “Blackhat,” and Best Picture Oscar winner “Marty.” In 2023 he released his first book “A Masterpiece in Disarray: David Lynch’s Dune – An Oral History” to considerable acclaim.