Argylle director Matthew Vaughn explains how Henry Cavill’s new spy movie destroys a major James Bond storytelling element and will upend the genre.
- Matthew Vaughn seeks to upend spy movie clichés, subverting the idea of handsome, recognizable spies with great haircuts and expensive suits.
- Vaughn believes that a good spy should be the person you least expect, not the guy who walks into a room and everyone knows his name and drink preferences.
- With his experience in parodying Bond franchise tropes, Vaughn is the right director to attempt destroying the very things that made James Bond a cinematic legend.
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Argylle director Matthew Vaughn explains how his new spy move with Henry Cavill seeks to upend the kinds of clichés made famous by James Bond and other espionage thrillers. Following the story of Bryce Dallas Howard’s reclusive novelist Elly Conway, Argylle sees Cavill assume the role of the fictional hero from Conway’s books, named Agent Argylle. In reality, however, Conway soon finds herself swept up in the actual world of espionage where the spies rarely look like the square-jawed, chiseled heroes of her imagination.
Speaking with Vanity Fair about his latest project after the trailer for Argylle dropped, Vaughn explains how he deliberately attempts to turn common spy movie tropes on their head. Having previously dabbled in the genre with his own Kingsman films, Vaughn admits that he himself is guilty of conjuring the idea of “handsome spies with great haircuts and wonderfully cut suits.” In Argylle, however, he seeks to subvert the James Bond-esque idea that a spy would be “the guy that gets noticed” and provides his real name on entering a room. Check out his comments below:
As I said, I’m guilty of handsome spies with great haircuts and wonderfully cut suits. In reality, if you’re a spy, it’s a pretty dumb thing to do. You’re going to be the guy that gets noticed in the room. A good spy should be the person you least expect the spy to be. And that’s what this movie is all about. It’s like Roger Moore said about James Bond—what sort of spy walks into a room and everyone knows his name and what he likes to drink? It’s ridiculous. We’re having fun destroying these tropes.
Why Matthew Vaughn Is The Right Director To Subvert James Bond
With an impressive 25 official films spanning six decades, the influence that James Bond has had on the evolution of the modern spy film should not be understated. While other fictional agents would each offer their own spin on the genre, none have enjoyed the widespread appeal or sheer longevity of Ian Fleming’s 007. Though movie history is filled with other iconic intelligence operatives like Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, and even Vaughn’s own Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin, Bond remains the quintessential gentlemen spy and the benchmark against which all others are measured.
Related: Henry Cavill Secretly Isn’t The Star Of His Next Major Movie Franchise (& That’s Okay)
With such a monumental and enduring sphere of influence, intentionally seeking to destroy the very things that helped James Bond become a cinematic legend seems like a bold undertaking. However, if anyone is qualified to attempt it, Vaughn appears to be a perfect choice. Not only was the Kingsman director once considered a favorite pick to helm his own Bond adventure, but he has already proven himself capable of successfully parodying many of the Bond franchise’s iconic tropes.
Moreover, Vaughn’s decision to cast Cavill, himself a popular contender to take over from Daniel Craig as 007, makes his plans for Argylle all the more exciting. Even Cavill’s shocking new haircut from the movie’s latest trailer seems to indicate a clever ploy designed to further critique the attention-seeking nature of fictional spies like Bond. Given what Vaughn has offered viewers so far, Argylle seems set to deliver a memorable spin on the genre.
Source: Vanity Fair