As a fan of spy movies and TV shows like Tehran and slow horses on Apple TV Plus, I was understandably excited by the news that Apple also paid a big chunk of the change to bring Argyle – a lavish, star-studded spy flick – to its streamer, sometime in 2023.
The film’s cast, based on an upcoming book of the same name, includes pop superstar Dua Lipa, as well as The witcher’s Henry Cavill. We’ll also see Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, and Samuel L. Jackson in the film, which is apparently about a novelist who once was a super spy and is now suffering from amnesia.
I say “apparently”, because that is the problem. There’s a pretty weird mystery surrounding this movie and its sources. Long story short, no pun intended, what the iPhone maker bought here are the rights to make a $200 million Apple TV Plus movie from a novel by 1) a first-time author named Elly Conway with 2) almost no presence of any kind online. And it gets even weirder.
Argyle Apple TV Plus Movie Mystery
Besides Apple spending a huge amount of money to adapt something from a super mystery writer for the first time – which barely has a digital footprint, beyond 4) an empty Instagram account without messages and who does not follow anyone (@authorellyconway) — the book that Argyle is based on won’t even be released until next year. In fact, this Apple TV Plus deal would have been made based on 5) simply a draft manuscript.
—Apple TV+ (@AppleTVPlus) March 8, 2022
This book was actually supposed to be released this month (September 29). But that has been postponed until March 30, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And while there’s no Amazon landing page for the book yet, there is is one for a German-language Kindle edition. It lists the release date, at least for this Kindle edition, as January 10.
Beyond the Instagram account above, the only other facts readily available online about “Elly Conway” are:
There is a two-sentence biography available via from Argyle editor, Random penguin house“Elly Conway is the author of the highly anticipated first thriller, Argyle. She lives in the United States and is currently working on the next installment of the series. This page also lists the aforementioned publication date of March 30, 2023.
Conway’s IMDb credits also include another film, in addition to Argyle. His IMDb page, which describes Argyle as currently in post-production, also seems to identify Conway as a “design assistant” for a 2024 film in pre-production – This is The fell guy, from John Wick director David Leitch and starring Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling. (see for yourself).
What we know
Naturally, the internet has a few theories. But let’s first recap what we know for sure about the movie.
The film’s director Matthew Vaughn (of Kingsman movies and X-Men: First Class) praised the draft manuscript when Apple first announced Argyle. “When I read that first draft manuscript, I felt it was the most incredible and original spy franchise since Ian Fleming’s books of the 1950s,” he said. at the time. “It will reinvent the espionage genre.”
At Apple’s Peek Performance event in March this year, the company also released a snippet of images from Argyle, as part of an Apple TV Plus sizzle reel. You’ll find it around 3:20 in the YouTube video embedded below:
One of the more interesting theories about all of this online is that Conway is actually the pseudonym of a creator with an established track record, which seems like a better explanation for why Apple TV Plus would back a project like this one, from the first time. writer, in such a big way.
JK Rowling being “Elly Conway” is one of the juiciest guesses to be mentioned in light of all of this on Twitter and Reddit. A conclusion I certainly can’t blame people for coming to, especially since she’s written under a pseudonym before. Another prevailing theory, however, is that this is all some sort of marketing stunt.
Or even that some kind of nepotism is disguised with all this charade. This theory reminds a Hollywood journalist investigationfrom 2017, in the mystery of “Rebecca Blunt”, the writer of the director Steven Soderbergh film Lucky Logan. It turns out that no such person exists – and the article names none other than Soderbergh’s wife as the likely author of Lucky Logan. Hopefully Apple will clear up the mystery here soon, one way or another.
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