MatthewMatthew Vaughn’s new spy romp Argylle delights in crashing two fictional layers together: The world of spy novelist Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) and the world inhabited by her creation, the James Bond-like Aubrey Argylle (Henry Cavill), blend into each other until audiences don’t know what’s real and which way is up. There’s also the fact that the movie was reportedly inspired by a novel written by a real author called Elly Conway. If you sat through the movie and you’re still confused on a few points, you aren’t alone.
We’re here to help you sort out a few things, including what future the Argylle franchise has, whether it has any connections to Vaughn’s Kingsman movies, and the implications of its post-credits scene.
DOES ARGYLLE HAVE A POST-CREDITS SCENE?
Yes! In the mid-credits slot, before the full credits roll, we get what appears to be a teaser for a sequel… sort of. It’s complicated.
A title card informs us that the scene is set 20 years earlier than the movie we’ve just watched. It’s shot in black and white. A young, dark-haired man enters a country pub called The King’s Man, a pointed reference to Vaughn’s series of Kingsman movies. He goes up to the barman and asks for a “cosmopolitan with a twist.” The barman scoffs, saying his establishment isn’t a cocktail bar or a nightclub.
The young man answers: “Hold the Cointreau. And the cranberry juice. And the vodka. Just the twist.” It’s a silly line, perhaps mocking James Bond’s famously fastidious “shaken, not stirred” order — but it’s also code. The barman hands the young man a fancy box containing a pistol and asks the young man’s name. He reveals that he’s Aubrey Argylle — the character from Elly Conway’s books, played by Henry Cavill in the movie.
“Argylle: Book One — The Movie — Coming Soon,” reads text on the screen.
IS ARGYLLE GETTING A SEQUEL, THEN?
I told you this would be complicated.
Because Elly Conway — Bryce Dallas Howard’s character in Argylle — is an author who writes spy fiction about Aubrey Argylle, this scene could just be an in-joke: a trailer for a movie that exists in Argylle’s fictional universe, adapted from the fictional Elly’s fictional book.
But! Elly Conway is also a real author (sort of — more on that later) who wrote a real book called Argylle (which you can buy) that supposedly inspired the movie. So this could be a trailer for a real movie adaptation of that book. A straight adaptation, rather than the Argylle movie we have, which is a metafictional take on it that uses some of the characters and turns the author into a character herself.