Put on your conspiracy goggles for a second my dear readers and indulge in my latest internet obsession. Apple TV+ just announced a teaser trailer for an upcoming star-packed film titled Argylle, based on the debut novel by writer Ellie Conway, and I can’t find a single thing about her anywhere online.
The first thing that intrigued me was the cast list. We’ve got Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, Ariana DeBose, and Rob Delaney, and that’s just a who’s who for now. Argylle, a spy thriller compared to films like the James Bond franchise, has yet to even receive an official release date from Apple.
So, being the movie fan that I am, I wanted to check out this debut novel that landed such an ensemble cast. However, upon further inspection over at Penguin Publishing, Ellie Conway’s Argylle isn’t set to be released until Sep. 29, 2022.
While it’s not unheard of for a book to get the movie treatment before publishing, a late 2022 release means that the book will likely come out, at most, just two months before the film (if not after). This is very uncommon.
The Penguin page for Argylle, which explains a little more of the plot than what Apple TV+ or director Matthew Vaughn let slip, however, doesn’t include a single detail about who Ellie Conway is, or how she landed this massive deal.
Conspiracy alerts are going haywire in my brain at this point. My head is spinning around like Steve Martin in The Jerk when he finds out that his check is worth $250,000 and not $250.
“Elly Conway is the author of the heavily anticipated debut thriller, Argylle,” her Penguin bio reads. “She lives in the United States and is currently working on the next instalment in the series.”
That’s it! Nothing more?! what is going on.
So what does the cast have to say about this story?
“I’m thrilled to team with Apple and bring the most compelling spy thriller I’ve ever read to the only streaming service that can create a franchise of this scale and quality for global audiences to experience,” director Mark Vaughn told Deadline.
The distribution rights to the film were reportedly sold to Apple TV+ for $200 million back in August 2021. Conway is also already working on follow-ups for what will be a trilogy of films, even though neither the debut novel nor the film have yet to premiere.
“When I read this early draft manuscript I felt it was the most incredible and original spy franchise since Ian Fleming’s books of the ‘50s,” Vaughn continued in an official statement. “This is going to reinvent the spy genre.”
What is happening??!! This is the future of spy stories, you can tell from just an early draft manuscript, and there isn’t even a photo of this writer online? Who is this spy thriller prodigy? Is she real? Is this a pen name? After several years of jokes is this finally the first film written by “the algorithm?”
I need answers Apple! Henry Cavill, tell me what’s happening! Is this some sort of new movie dark magic like when they had to spend over $3 million to digitally remove your mustache from Justice League?!
Is this normal? “Ellie Conway” sold this massive debut project, got Dua Lipa to star in a movie version, and no one has publicly spoken to her yet? Please help me figure this out.