For almost a decade, Taylor Swift’s smash hit “Wildest Dreams” has sparked speculation about its inspiration. Swifties, as her fans are known, have been pondering who the song was written about. As her whirlwind romance with NFL superstar tight end Travis Kelce continues to capture headlines, some fans believe they’ve finally pieced together the puzzle.
In 2013, Taylor Swift was working on what would become one of her most critically acclaimed albums, “1989,” and simultaneously filming “The Giver,” an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel.
“The Giver” is set in a dystopian world where emotions and memories are suppressed, and Swift played Rosemary, the daughter of the main character, portrayed by Alexander Skarsgård.
Here’s where the pieces start coming together. “The Giver” was filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2015, when Swift released “Wildest Dreams” as a single, the accompanying music video was also set in Africa.
Notably, the video portrays Swift falling in love with her onscreen co-star, played by Scott Eastwood, while they film amidst Africa’s wildlife. Furthermore, Swift wears a dark-brown wig in the video, reminiscent of her look in “The Giver.”
Adding more fuel to the speculation, Swift, then 33, and Skarsgård, 47, were spotted dining together alongside their co-star Katie Holmes in South Africa during the filming of “The Giver.”
Skarsgård later disclosed that they had “jam sessions” during their downtime, where they played the piano and sang together – outings he described as “really lovely” at the time.
Their paths eventually diverged, and Swift began dating pop star Harry Styles, then a member of the boy band One Direction. Interestingly, the music video for “Wildest Dreams” concludes with Swift and Eastwood parting ways, mirroring the rumored 2013 events between Swift and the “Succession” actor.
The lyrics of “Wildest Dreams” further fan the flames of speculation that Skarsgård is the muse behind the song. Starting with the line, “He’s so tall and handsome as hell,” it could be a nod to Skarsgård’s 6’4″ height. The rest of the song is filled with wistful sentiments as Swift yearns for a lasting memory.
The lyrics evoke images of “standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe, red lips, and rosy cheeks,” before asking that he “remember me, even if it’s just in your wildest dreams.”
As speculation about Skarsgård heats up, Taylor Swift’s high-profile relationship with Travis Kelce is also making headlines. Their romance has been the talk of the town since Swift attended one of Kelce’s games at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where he plays for the Chiefs.
On October 27, almost nine years after its initial release, Swift will unveil the re-recorded version of “1989,” aptly named “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which includes “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version).” The song has already been released, as a gift to the eager fans who made the original version famous on TikTok.
The song’s release precedes the November launch of “Red (Taylor’s Version),” her second re-recorded studio album. “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” also featured in trailers for the movie “Spirit Untamed,” which was released in late 2021, causing excitement among fans who were looking forward to hearing the full version.
The song also appeared in the second season of Netflix’s original series “Fate: The Winx Saga,” which premiered in 2022. “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” was released ahead of the full album, with its inclusion in the Amazon Prime original series “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” featuring a snippet of “Delicate (Taylor’s Version)” from the highly anticipated “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” – the release date of which has yet to be announced.
The full re-recorded version of “Delicate” has also not been released. “1989” earned Taylor Swift her second Album of the Year Grammy in 2016. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is expected to follow suit, featuring five additional songs from the vault that were not included in the original album.
This release is part of Taylor Swift’s ongoing mission to regain control of her first six studio albums’ master tapes. In 2019, an investment company purchased the masters, leading Swift to re-record her albums and receive critical acclaim for her efforts.