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June 17th, 2018

Steven Soderbergh Will Direct The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

When I saw Ocean’s Eleven in theatres, I thought it was the coolest thing on Earth — a modern, well-dressed take on a throwaway film that happened to star the Rat Pack. I even like the sequels! Which means that I’m very excited to hear from the Heat Vision Blog that Steven Soderbergh is going to direct a big-screen adaptation of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros. This is especially exciting because he’s taken over the gig from David Dobkin who directed Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus, thereby proving that he has no business taking on a supercool espionage film.

The original U.N.C.L.E. was a TV series from the ’60s that followed secret agents, especially notable for depicting Russian, American and British agents working together under one organization. Which is pretty daring for the Cold War era.

Apparently, Soderbergh’s been venturing into action thriller territory lately, so U.N.C.L.E. makes sense for the director these days, especially after the daunting task of making the epic Che. Still, let’s hope that isn’t the end of Soderbergh being an exciting, adventurous director — though he has a tendency to jump from art film to commercial film a lot during the course of his career. Remember, this is the guy who had the audacity to remake Solaris.

One Comment

  1. Buy_gones

    I would love to see this kept set in the 1960s, and NOT updated. That is where U.N.C.L.E. belongs. I beg them not to do an update like “Mission Impossible.” Those are horrible as “remakes.” The “Mission Impossible” films were not remakes at all. They were just action vehicles and could have been titled anything. Updating destroys the essence of the being. It’s like saying the current Batman films are “updates” of the Adam West TV series. They’re two different animals.

    Keep the humor purely tongue in cheek as in the first season, not farcical as in season three. Daniel Craig’s “Casino Royale,” over Peter Seller’s version, if you know what I mean. No slapstick. No cheese. No two by fours smacking Illya in the head. Please don’t destroy the fond memories of my childhood.

    My thought on casting: Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Reid, on “Criminal Minds”) to play Illya Kuryakin. He’d have to cut the hair and maybe beef up a bit, but he favors David McCallum and can act.

    I think bringing the original actors into the movie in some capacity would be a nice tribute to the fans of the original show, but, in what capacity, I don’t know. I thought about Robert Vaughn or David McCallum as Alexander Waverly, but… not sure. They need to be in there somewhere, even if just a cameo scene in the “Mask Club.” I could see a nightclub scene with Vaughn and McCallum each squiring an actress who played on the show. Wouldn’t it be great to see Senta Berger or Nancy Kovack Mehti back in a cameo? Maybe even Stefanie Powers and Noel Harrison in a role. Speaking of which – maybe Harrison as Waverly? He has that affable but curmudgeonly British look, nowadays.

    If they would consult with Danny Biederman (who owns a lot of the original props) and Robert Short (who owns the original U.N.C.L.E. Piranha car) and who both understand and love the show as we original fans do, it would be a HUGE source of help in capturing the feel of the show. If set in the 60s, I can see U.N.C.L.E. “upgrading” the communicators for the field agents from the cigarette pack communicator to the pen communicator in one scene.

    I hope they keep the first season music for this film. Excellent score. Can’t be beat. That drum intro and “march-like” quality to the rest of the theme sets the pace for the action.

    Keeping my fingers crossed. Sounds like Soderbergh is on track.

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