For a while there, it didn’t seem as if Warner Bros. would ever be get a movie based on the ’60s TV show “The Man from UNCLE” onto the big screen. After losing some big-name directors and actors, the movie is now moving forward with a pair of newcomers in front of the camera and Guy Ritchie behind it.
The studio has now officially announced the start of production on the movie. Press release ahoy.
Principal photography will begin on September 9 on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” The film is the first to be made under filmmaker Guy Ritchie’s and producer Lionel Wigram’s new production shingle, Ritchie/Wigram Productions, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Having successfully re-imagined the classic detective Sherlock Holmes in two hit films, the pair now bring their fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series by bringing super spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin to the big screen.
Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Illya Kuryakin, alongside stars Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”), Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”), and Hugh Grant (“Cloud Atlas”) as Waverly.
“Guy and I have long loved these characters, and wanted to start from scratch with our own take and create a film steeped in the 1960s for today’s audiences,” said Wigram. “We are particularly happy about our cast, who all bring something special to the film. Henry, Armie, Alicia and Elizabeth are among the best and most exciting actors of the next generation. In addition, we are thrilled to be working with Hugh Grant, who we have known and been fans of for many years, and Jared Harris, who did such a great job for us as Moriarty.”
Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.
The screenplay is written by Ritchie and Wigram, who also serve as producers. John Davis (“Chronicle”) and Steve Clark-Hall (“RocknRolla,” the “Sherlock Holmes” films) are also producing. David Dobkin is executive producer.
You’ll notice in the plot synopsis above that Solo and Kuryakin are now a CIA and KGB agent, respectively, and not working for the titular “UNCLE” organization. Then again, maybe the idea is to eventually form UNCLE by the end of the movie.
The men from UNCLE arrive in 2014.