Argylle: Who is Elly Conway? The mystery of her real identity explained

31 January 2024, 09:13

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By Katie Louise Smith

Is it Taylor Swift? Is it Ryan Reynolds? Here's the mystery behind the author's identity explained.

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The question on everybody's lips: Who the hell is Elly Conway? If you've been following along with the mystery surrounding the new film Argylle, you'll know who we're talking about. If not, here's your explanation about what's going on.

Argylle is a brand new spy thriller, starring Henry Cavill and directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on a book by new author Elly Conway. However, no one quite knows who Elly Conway is. Her real identity is a completely mystery.

Adding to the mystery is the reports that Apple apparently paid the first-time author $200 million for the rights to turn the book into a film. That deal was made before Conway had even published the book. Plans for even more films are also in the works. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)

That huge figure sparked speculation that the author might actually be someone very high profile, using a different name. Several theories have popped up online, including the long-running and very detailed "Is Taylor Swift actually Elly Conway?" theory... To make matters even more confusing and meta, Bryce Dallas Howard plays Elly Conway in the film.

Here's everything we know so far about Elly Conway's real identity.

Who is Elly Conway? The real identity of the author is currently unknown...

Is Argylle's Ellie Conway real? Who is she? Her real identity has sparked a conspiracy theory
Is Argylle's Ellie Conway real? Who is she? Her real identity has sparked a conspiracy theory. Picture: Universal Pictures

Is Elly Conway a real author?

Right now, no one knows who Elly Conway is, and no one knows if she's an actual real author. Argylle director Matthew Vaughn has confirmed that there is an Elly Conway, and Samuel L. Jackson recently teased that fans will find out who she is in the coming days.

Even on Elly Conway's Penguin author page, there's very very little information about the mysterious writer. It reads: "Elly Conway was born and raised in upstate New York. She wrote her first novel about Agent Argylle while working as a waitress in a late-night diner."

She has an Instagram account, which was set up fairly recently in December 2022, but she has never posted her face online.

People are convinced that "Elly Conway" is actually a pseudonym, and that the book was either written by another popular author working under a different name, or a high-profile celebrity...

The Elly Conway Taylor Swift theory explained

Initially, fans believed that Elly Conway was actually Taylor Swift, but that conspiracy theory has since been shut down by director Matthew Vaughn who has said that Taylor did not write the Argylle book.

"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," he said. "And I say that because I imagine Taylor Swift has a load of people trying to jump on her bandwagon left, right, and center, 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."

Taylor got dragged into the conspiracy theory after the film's trailer and promotional material was released. Swifties immediately clocked the similarities between the film's aesthetic and some of of Taylor's visuals. And of course, there's the Scottish Fold cat at the centre of it all...

Here's all the key easter eggs that had fans convinced that Taylor was behind the book:

  • The Cat - Named Alfie in the film, played by Claudia Schiffer's cat Chip in real life, the Scottish Fold is the exact same breed as Taylor's cats Meredith and Olivia.
  • The Cat Backpack - The cat is carried around in a very similar 'bubble window' cat backpack that Taylor used in her Miss Americana documentary to tote her cats around.
  • The name "Elly Conway" - In one of the photos from her Eras Tour rehearsals, Taylor can be seen wearing a 'Conway Recording Studios' sweatshirt. Taylor has recorded music at the real-life studios.
  • The Argyle pattern - Taylor's recent Red (Taylor's Version) era was chock full of the same aesthetic, particularly the 'All Too Well (10 Minute Version)' video.
  • The fictional Elly Conway's look - Bryce Dallas Howard plays Elly Conway in the film, and Swifties thought she bore a striking resemblance to the older version of Sadie Sink's character that Taylor portrayed in the 'ATW (10MV)' music video. The character has red hair and was also an author.
  • The Instagram account - The first post on Elly Conway's Instagram was shared on Taylor's birthday, December 13th.

The theory was also fuelled by Chip the cat's Instagram account, as whoever is behind it has been posting about Taylor while the Swifties have been busy theorising.

But if Elly Conway is not Taylor Swift... Who is she?

Is Taylor Swift Elly Conway? Swifties are convinced the film is littered with Taylor easter eggs
Is Taylor Swift Elly Conway? Swifties are convinced the film is littered with Taylor easter eggs. Picture: Republic Records, @taylorswift via Instagram

Other names that have popped up in theories online include J.K. Rowling, who already writes under pseudonym Robert Galbraith and was recently named dropped in an interview from Matthew Vaughn, and, perhaps more surprisingly, Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan, who is one of Taylor Swift's besties, has now become the subject of TikTok's latest Argylle conspiracy theory alongside Blake Lively. One particular TikToker has managed to link the name 'Elly Conway' to details about Ryan in a fairly convincing way.

Argylle is released in cinemas on February 2nd, so conspiracy theorists will have to wait and see whether or not anything more concrete about the mysterious Elly Conway is revealed...

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