When you mention director Matthew Vaughn to anyone, you can’t just include one of his films. You have to give a list. For me, Vaughn is one of the architects of THE British gangster revolution of the late 90’s early 2000’s. He produced 1994’S Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and 2000’s SNATCH. He then went on to direct one of my favorite films of that decade, 2004’s Layer Cake. Look when it came to cockney gangsters, Vaughn was intricate in perfectly glorifying them. Since then, he’s made classics like Kick-Ass and of course The Kingsman trilogy. Not since Quentin Tarantino has there been a filmmaker who uses a dazzling, stylized way of making films with the best pop songs behind them.

Vaugh’s latest film is Argylle, and if the teaser trailer indicates what we have to look forward to, then we’re in luck. The film stars Henry Cavill as the title character and explores the world that Elly Conway creates through her novels and what happens when she falls into one. The film also stars John Cena and Dua Lipa, and some familiar faces in past Vaughn films. We were lucky enough to chat with him at this year’s New York Comic Con, and he had a lot to say

Filmmaker Matthew Vaughn behind-the-scenes of “Argylle,” premiering in theaters February 2, 2024.

The Importance Of A Great Cast

THS: You’ve had big casts with all your films, from Kick Ass, Layer Cake to all the Kingsman films. From a director’s aspect, how is it working with such big casts and making sure everything pulls off?

Matthew Vaughn: You know, it’s great, it’s an honor, you know, and they make me look good. So you have a great actor. I’m just like, what you’re doing now is all I’m doing. I’m half the time, I’m just going, wow, they’re good. And I’m like, you know, I’m saying, is it in focus? It is great, keep going. So, you know, good actors make me look a lot better, make my life, you know, I’m not an acting coach.

So I will never be one of those directors of saying, let’s get someone who’s never acted before and we’re going to draw a performance out of that. I’ll be like, fuck that, you know, I’m not going to teach. I’m going to watch a football game. I want people who can play football and watch it and maybe say attack on the left. I can maybe say that. I’m not going to teach them how to kick a ball or in your case, American football, throw a ball.

Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill in “Argylle,” premiering in theaters February 2, 2024.

THS: With Argyle, how did the concept of placing an author in her own book come about?

Matthew Vaughn: So I read book one, right? Then I watched Romancing the Stone and I was thinking in the world of launching new IPs very hard, this ain’t going to work. Then I was explained where the books go. And book four, I was like, that’s how to do it. And then I had this idea of, I think I’ve said it a million times before, like a fraud repeating myself. But I thought, wouldn’t it be, imagine the world JK Rowling if after book three, a real wizard suddenly walked into her life and went, it’s pretty good what you did. You got a lot of it wrong. And this is how you do a spell. And Hogwarts doesn’t look like that.

It looks like this. And she’s like, are you out of your fucking mind? Then starts going, wow. And then I can flip-flop. So the book comes out in January and I’m hoping it’s a big hit because then we want to make book one. That’ll be the next one. Just in time for the February release of the film. So it comes out in January. So anything I was worried about, people were going to read book one and then think that’s them and go, what the fuck? That’s totally different. But yeah, welcome to the way we make movies. It’s not necessarily done the normal way.

Bryce Dallas Howard in “Argylle,” premiering in theaters February 2, 2024.

Vaughn’s Technique

THS: One good thing that I love about your films, the way you balance comedy and action. Is there a way that you focus like, okay, I can’t have too much of this. I got to reel it back a little. Or you just do your own thing?

Matthew Vaughn: It’s a balancing act. That’s what the editing’s for. So when we’re on set, sometimes we’ll see something really, we think it’s really fucking funny. And then you watch the movie and you’re going, it’s funny on the day, but no one’s laughing. And likewise, even with what we do with the humor and what we do with the action. I always try to put reality into it. It’s about telling a story. And that’s funny when people say, oh, we really like your action secrets.

Why? And I’m like, there’s a story to it. I always put geography into it. So you know where the fuck, what’s happening, who’s hitting that person and why they’re hitting and who’s winning. It’s a lot of action. You like football? Imagine if the whole football match was done on here and there and they’re wearing the same color. After a while, you’re like, what the fuck is going on? So it’s balancing it.

THS: All right, one last thing, I know we were talking about with the trailer, you have the David Bowie songs. Can we expect some great songs in the film?

Matthew Vaughn: There’s some King Disco bangers in this. Let me tell you, the first Kingsman, man, I love that soundtrack. So the soundtrack on this, I dare people not to dance by the end of the movie.  It’s got tracks that just make you fucking want to cheer.

About Argylle

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. Her 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), Emmy winner and Oscar® nominee Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), 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 (I Still See You). The film is produced by Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling (Kingsman franchise), Jason Fuchs, and David Reid (Kingsman franchise). The executive producers are Adam Fishbach, Zygi Kamasa, Carlos Peres and Claudia Vaughn.

Apple Original Films presents, in association with MARV, a Cloudy production. Argylle is distributed by Universal Pictures.

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