Matthew Vaughn’s appearance at NYCC has already become a bit legendary thanks to his story about quitting directing duties on X3 after he learned executives had a script prepared to trick Halle Berry into signing on that they had no intention of filming. Vaughn was indeed on good form Saturday evening and remains about as no-nonsense as they come freely sharing many stories and behind-the-scenes peeks into his action-packed career.
Remarking that he got into directing after starting as a producer because it would streamline the process and just make it easier to get things done, rather than dealing with another party, it was fascinating to get an insight into his directorial inspirations. While Kingsman: The Golden Circle was inspired by Vaughn’s love of Americana, the series’ original installment was based on director Terence Young’s behind-the-scenes grooming and prep of Sean Connery to make him into the perfect English gentleman spy, something desperately needed to convince author Ian Flemming that he was right for the role of Bond.
Vaughn’s refreshing candor is part of what makes him such a fun director to watch and root for. Asked by panel host Chris Hewitt of Empire Magazine about filming Sir Elton John kicking someone in the face, Vaughn admitted that he regretted not directing John’s biopic Rocketman. He also, it’s worth noting, sincerely admitted that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher had “knocked it out of the park” and that he was “proud” of what Fletcher had done with the film. On the topic, he also noted that when John told him about the script and that he hadn’t been able to get it off the ground for many years, Vaughn was convinced it must be absolutely awful. Who wouldn’t want to make a film about Elton John filled with classic Elton John music after all? What he found out, however, is that studios didn’t want to make a rated R Elton John film. There was too much “gay stuff” and drugs and as you might expect, Vaughn found that patently ridiculous. The rest, of course, is Matthew Vaughn’s production history.
In addition to teasing Kingsman 3 and a reboot of Kick-Ass to be in production of some kind next year, Matthew Vaughn brought a clip of his new film Argylle to be released in cinemas on February 2, 2024, with a subsequent release on Apple TV+. The film is based in part on a book of the same name by Elly Conway to be released in January of 2024 but Vaughn is very clearly taking it to another, very meta level. Inspired by the often-forgotten and highly underrated Romancing the Stone, Vaughn has added author Conway to his cast, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. The cat-loving spy novelist finds herself embroiled in a real-life spy escapade and in the absolutely stunning and hilarious train sequence the crowd at NYCC was treated to, it becomes clear that we will see the fictional spy world of Elly’s creation as well as the real-life adventure she finds herself in.
Given that Vaughn specifically noted that both the train sequence we saw and all the trailer footage comes from the first 28 of this 134-minute film I cannot possibly underestimate how insanely fun and entertaining Argylle will be, nor can I accurately guess how many tricks, twists, and turns may await. What I can say with great certainty is that this film has rocketed to the very top of my most anticipated list and MUST be seen in a theater.
Argyle, directed by Matthew Vaughn, and starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Catherine O’Hara, Samuel L. Jackson and many more, comes to theaters on February 2, 2024.