Though he may still be working in the world of his Kingman universe, director Matthew Vaughn just can’t pass up a good spy story. After reading a manuscript of mysterious author Elly Conway’s espionage thriller Argylle, Vaughn dedicated himself to shepherding this cinematic take on the project, and took Henry Cavill along for the ride.
It wasn’t too long before a veritable who’s who of actors jumped on board, and before you knew it Bryce Dallas Howard and John Cena became a part Apple Original Films and Universal's picture, set to debut theatrically on the 2024 movie release schedule. As you’re about to see, the faces who are involved in this particular game are both familiar and intriguing.
But before we go too far, let's take a look at Argylle's trailer. It's not only a lot of fun to watch, it will also serve as a primer for the dual pronged reality we're about to delve into.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the cast for Argylle. Starting, of course, with the actor whose character lends the film its very name.
After making some trips to the world of espionage himself, thanks to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible - Fallout, what we know about Argylle has Henry Cavill entering the spy game yet again. This time he’s a bit of a wild card, as our tale starts with this amnesiac protagonist being tricked into thinking he's merely an author of fiction.
Or at least, that's what we were led to believe originally. Since the release of Argylle's trailer, the narrative seems to have changed. Henry Cavill's Aubrey Argylle is actually the fictional hero of the book that "inspired" Matthew Vaughn's film. Which only further complicates the intention to kick off a new trilogy of spy movies. Though the former star of The Witcher may have his ever busy hands full, Cavill hasn't ruled out James Bond for his potential future.
Playing agent Argylle's "elegant and lethal nemesis" Lagrange, we saw Dua Lipa's character pictured in the first official photo and footage of the film’s action. Co-star Henry Cavill hinting in a social media post that trouble was ahead, and the footage that later came along only confirmed as much.
Everything from Dua Lipa trying to shoot Henry Cavill to being yanked off of a motorbike by John Cena was shown. And for the audience's sake, it appears that Dua's character is present in the fictional book narrative. One final note: while she was originally announced as writing the musical score and title song for Argylle, it seems that the score duties have now gone to Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One composer Lorne Balfe.
One of 2022's Academy Award winners, Ariana DeBose is also known for her credits in the cast of Hamilton and the Netflix original movie The Prom. Playing the role of "fearless field tech" Keira in Argylle; she seems to be another party present in the fictional Argylle narrative. At least her speeding away from an with Henry Cavill and John Cena in tow would seem to suggest that.
This also seems to indicate that Ariana DeBose looks to be someone we can trust. Which is more than we can say for her casting as supervillain Calypso Ezili in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe movie Kraven the Hunter. I hope we're not winding up for a potential double cross here.
Speaking of heel turns, John Cena is part of this amazing roster of talent as well! The wrestling veteran who became a blockbuster player, Cena has used The Suicide Squad to push his brand of chaos even further. Which leads to his part in Argylle, as Wyatt, a fellow agent (and best friend to) Henry Cavill's Argylle in the book world.
This combination looks to be one that takes full advantage of the Matthew Vaughn line of action-comedy and the Peacemaker star's talents in that realm. Seriously, that bike yank stunt is pretty impressive, as is his over it "man in the van" gag shown in Argylle's trailer.
Richard E. Grant
Rounding out the roster of characters in the Argylle books is celebrated actor Richard E. Grant. Inhabiting the role of Fowler, "a senior member of agent Argylle’s organization," there's a lot of potential for this character on either side of the moral fence. So his current implied alignment on the side of good shouldn't be taken too close to heart.
In terms of Richard E. Grant though, you can take his casting as a sign that Matthew Vaughn is really excited to pack both sides of Argylle's reality with top tier talent. Seen in everything from Withnail and I to Everyone's Talking About Jamie, Grant and his prolific talents have been spotted in blockbusters as of late; most notably as Allegiant General Pryde in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Here's where it all starts to get complicated, readers. Who's the author of Argylle in the reality of us moviegoers? Elly Conway. Who's the character that Jurassic World Dominion's Bryce Dallas Howard is playing in Matthew Vaughn's film, based on Ms. Conway's book? Elly Conway. Apparently, the Kick Ass director's approach to adapting that book he loved so much during those early pandemic days was to co-create a movie with writer Jason Fuchs that gave it a meta spin.
In the world of Argylle the movie, Ms. Conway is so astute at writing her spy plots that she's predicted real life capers, and attracted the attention of her world's espionage community as a result. So for the purposes of Matthew Vaughn's movie, Elly's world is "reality." Which makes it all the more confusing when trying to figure out how real the still unseen Elly Conway is in our world.
From here on out, we're presumably going to be talking about the people that exist in Elly Conway's world within Argylle. And that's where Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell comes in, as he's playing Aidan, a spy who's trying to protect Elly Conway from forces that are seeking out her supposed skills as an oracle.
A jack of all trades, Rockwell was more recently seen by audiences in the Searchlight Pictures whodunnit See How They Run. Seeing as that movie has its own very meta approach to reality bending, Argylle shouldn't be much of a stretch for his chops; especially after reading how Sam's dual train fight with Henry Cavill really put him through his paces.
Returning to the world of movies for the first time since 2020’s The One and Only Ivan, Bryan Cranston has still been a busy man. Leading up to his casting in Argylle, Cranston has been on stage with productions of both Network and Power of Sail, as well as led the Showtime series Your Honor.
In the part of Ritter, Cranston seems to have returned to full on villain territory as the head of something only known as "The Division." Think of it as a real life SPECTRE. A spy chief who's been watching Bryce Dallas Howard's Elly Conway, this Argylle figure seems to be the big bad in her reality. And it looks like he'll stop at nothing to get his woman.
Comedy legend Catherine O’Hara’s best movie and TV roles make her a prime addition to the Argylle cast. Originally, it was theorized that the Schitt's Creek vet would be playing the character of Frances Coffey,“the CIA's most legendary spymaster.”
However, that was before the truth about Matthew Vaughn's movie revealed that character as a figure from Elly Conway's book. In actuality, Catherine will be playing Ruth, Elly's mother. And from what we've seen in Argylle's marketing, she's pretty frustrated with her daughter's latest installment in the series.
Samuel L. Jackson
This isn’t the first time that Matthew Vaughn and Samuel L. Jackson have teamed up in the world of cinema. A legendary acting talent, Jackson was also Richmond Valentine, the central villain in Kingsman: The Secret Service. And it seems like these collaborators had so much fun playing together previously, they decided to use Argylle as their big reunion.
Playing Alfred Solomon, the retired CIA deputy director that's helped give Elly Conway stories to write in the Argylle world, Jackson's previous history as the MCU's Nick Fury will probably come into play. Only Alfred doesn't seem to be as uptight as Director Fury ever was.
No one knows who Saba Al-Badr is working for, so her title as Argylle's “Keeper of Secrets” is even more applicable under that reality. While we'll have to wait to figure out who Sofia Boutella's character is working for, we do know that she's reunited with her Kingsman: The Secret Service director for what looks like one hell of a ride.
Currently Boutella is the face of another would-be franchise of blockbusters. As the functional lead of Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon series of Netflix original films, she's continued to flex her action muscles in bad ass form.
Closing out the currently known cast list is another veteran of the cinematic intelligence community, comedian Rob Delaney. Recently seen in a quick appearance via Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, the man has already proved himself to look good and authoritative in a uniform.
Delaney’s comedy chops now find themselves put to the test among spies of different stripes, as Argylle marks yet another cinematic appearance by the man who made an impression as Peter in Deadpool 2. Per reporting by THR, Rob's role is "unknown, but it’s understood to be relatively small."
Thanks to Apple teaming with the folks at Universal Studios, this former streaming exclusive is now heading to the movies! Argylle is currently set to make its grand debut on the big screen, on February 2nd. Eventually, those with an Apple TV+ subscription will be rewarded for their patience, as that will be its streaming home.
However, we don't know exactly when that'll happen, as that information is classified. That said, if you want to start your mind bending journey into the world of Argylle, Elly Conway's first installment in the series is currently on shelves; and can be purchased on Amazon, or wherever fine books are sold.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.