Director Matthew Vaughn has dismissed the conspiracy theory that Taylor Swift penned the novel which his new film has been adapted from.
Spy-thriller Argylle was published this month under the name Elly Conway, and fans of Swift have batted around the idea that the 34-year-old American pop-superstar could have written the book.
Vaughn, 52 – who is the filmmaker behind Layer Cake, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and the Kingsman films – told Rolling Stone UK that the music artist “definitely didn’t write the book”.
Fans have made the link as the novel’s title is Argylle and Swift has a history of wearing argyle sweaters.
Her official merchandise includes a Red (Taylor’s Version) Argyle Sweater which fans can purchase on her website for 65 dollars (£51.49).
As well as this, Elly Conway owns a Scottish Fold and Swift has two cats of the same breed named Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson and has carried them around in a similar cat backpack to the one seen in the movie.
Speaking about the “conspiracy theory”, Vaughn said: “I’m not a big internet guy, and it was actually my daughter who came up to me — this is the power of celebrity and the internet — and said, ‘You never told me Taylor wrote the book’.”
“And I’m looking at her going, ‘What are you talking about Taylor Swift wrote the book? She didn’t write the book’.
“And I was laughing because I was like, ‘It’s not true! She didn’t write the book!’ But my daughter was convinced of it.”
He added: “There is a real book… and it’s a really good book. And there is an Elly Conway who wrote the book, but it’s not Taylor Swift.
“And I say that because I imagine Taylor Swift has a load of people trying to jump on her bandwagon left, right, and centre, and I don’t want to be a part of that club.
“I did read the conspiracies and I was like, wow, they don’t leave a stone unturned. But it’s not Taylor Swift. She definitely didn’t write the book.”
Swift did have an indirect influence over the film, however, as Vaughn used his cat Chip in the movie and said he had bought the Scottish Fold for his daughters as they had convinced their mother, his wife Claudia Schiffer, that they should buy them one for Christmas after watching a Swift documentary.
“Ironically, what she is responsible for is the Scottish Fold,” explained Vaughn.
“I got home one day, it was Christmas, and I was like, ‘What the f*** is that noise?’
“And I’m running around the house and I hear a noise, and the kids had seen a Taylor Swift documentary (Miss Americana) and there was a Scottish Fold in that, and they’d persuaded my wife, Claudia, to get them the kitten for Christmas.
“It was bought without my permission and hidden from me.”
He adds, “As crazy as it sounds, that is our only Taylor Swift connection.”
Speaking on how Chip was cast for the film, Vaughn said: “That was not by design; it was literally by default.
“That first day of filming with the cat we had — this actor cat — wasn’t really working out, and I literally went to my daughter’s bedroom, because the cat sleeps with her, and I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna borrow the cat.’ And she went, ‘Fine.’
“I don’t think she realised it meant for three months.
“It was odd because he rode to work with me every morning, shared my trailer.
“But he was great. And he seemed to enjoy it as well. He was a natural. The nepo cat.”
The movie, slated for release in February, features a star studded line-up comprised of Henry Cavill, John Cena, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L Jackson, Bryan Cranston, Rob Delaney, singer Dua Lipa and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly.
The screenplay was written by Jason Fuchs and the story follows author Elly Conway whose best-selling espionage novels about a secret agent named Argylle start to mirror the actions of a real-life spy organisation.
Swift, who was named Time Magazine’s person of the year in 2023, has 11 chart-topping albums in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company, and will be embarking on the European leg of her The Era’s Tour this year.