Bradley Cooper May Become ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 3rd, 2013 at 9:25 am,

Director Steven Soderbergh’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. adaptation remains set for a Spring 2012 production start, despite it having lost (and not yet replaced) leading man George Clooney just a couple months ago.

The search has been ongoing for both Clooney’s replacement as American agent Napoleon Solo, and his Russian partner, Illya Kuryakin. A previously-released actor wish list for the film was composed of 30-something (or so) stars whose careers are on the rise. Hence why it’s not shocking to learn that a slightly¬†older actor whose starmeter is on the up and up may snag the role of Solo.

Variety says that Soderbergh’s top choice for the part of Solo is Hangover franchise star Bradley Cooper. The site is also reporting that Cooper has actually been broached with an offer and will in all likelihood accept it – simply because the actor’s “team at CAA worked [hard] to position him for the coveted part.”

Cooper does seem like a natural to replace Clooney in… well, just about any role that the latter has been deemed fit for, seeing how they have a very similar screen persona (re: often somewhat smarmy, but charmingly so). Thus, it makes sense that Soderbergh would eventually settle on someone like Cooper – who’s currently working on David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook – to handle his Man from U.N.C.L.E.‘s¬†version of the Solo character.

For those not familiar with the original Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series: It ran from 1964-1968 and revolved around the international buddy duo of Solo and Kuryakin: two agents who work for a secret organization known as the United Network Command For Law and Enforcement (or U.N.C.L.E. for short). They constantly foil the plans of a nefarious body called Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity (a.k.a. T.H.R.U.S.H.).

Man from U.N.C.L.E. screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion) previously had the following to say (via Coming Soon), with regards to why Soderbergh’s adaptation will retain the Cold War setting of its inspiration:

“When you think about the world in the 1960′s just in terms of cars and fashion and the aesthetic, to be able to go and shoot that world with today’s cameras and today’s technology, I think we could do some really cool stuff. Then also, the thing that was so cool about ‘U.N.C.L.E.’ that people don’t realize–and this is why I like it more than ‘Mission: Impossible’–the initial conceit of ‘U.N.C.L.E.’ was amazing. It was really about an organization that didn’t have an affiliation with a country and Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin were guys who should’ve been sworn enemies. One was Russian and one was American and they worked together. In that way, it was a really incredibly progressive, hopeful kind of show.”

the man from uncle Bradley Cooper May Become The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Soderbergh’s Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn’t expected to feature as many blockbuster set pieces or high-octane thrills as the latest entry in the Mission: Impossible film series (see: this winter’s Ghost Protocol). However, it should be a fairly light-hearted spy flick that mixes the breezy feel of the director’s Ocean’s Eleven trilogy with the more serious tone and action-packed design of his next release, Haywire.

In other words, Man from U.N.C.L.E. could play out a bit like director Steven Spielberg’s own 1960s flick, Catch Me If You Can – albeit, with a globe-trotting cat-and-mouse plot that involves covert agents.

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as more information is released.

Source: Variety

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  1. Now that I can actually see him doing.

  2. They’re gonna have to change the title if they want this film to be taken seriously.

  3. no, nust no……..its to campy, how can you take a guy seriously when hes called napoleon solo? it would be like austin powers trying to be a serious spy movie?

    • Listen, that’s the title of the show, the title of the movie, and the name of the character! If you want to be informed about the show, watch it on Netflix online or rent the DVD’s from Netflix DVD. Other than that, show some respect.

      As for myself: I’m a bit disturbed at Soderbergh’s fanwanking towards the classic U.N.C.L.E. fans-the have NO RIGHT AT ALL being catered to in this fashion. U.N.C.L.E. should be set NOW, in the 21st century, and have agents based in ethnicities current to NOW (a Muslim Arab agent, an Afro-American agent, a Latino-American agent, an African agent, an Asian agent) with the focus on stopping THRUSH and ordinary terrorism rather than on the ’60s Cold War milieu (which will go over the heads of everybody that sees it in the theaters except that of the minuscule 10,100 classic U.N.C.L.E. fans who think that they’re the only ones that the movie’s meant to appeal to.) If Soderbergh thinks that this movie will succeed because of Mad Men‘s popularity, then I think that he’s sorely mistaken; I predict that he will have to do what Orci, Kurtzman, and Abrams did in reviving Star Trek, or the Broccoli’s did in reviving James Bond, and modernize it considerably. Either that, or see it fail at the box office, even if it has great writing and characters.

      • oh im well acquainted with the man from uncle fantomex, ive seen the show many times, and whilst entertaining, in a campy way, it cannot imo be retconned and be successful.
        if it recreates the originial show, with characters called napoleon solo, and illya curryakin fighting THRUSH (for gods sake,thrush!)
        then it is doomed to failure, if they retcon the pants off it so its another bourne/bond type movie, then well, ill be very surprised if its as popular as those franchises, but more importantly, it wont be the man from uncle.

  4. I was recently thinking about how great it would be to take the Man from UNCLE to the big screen. Then I read the Bradley Cooper piece. I never thought it would happen. UNCLE was my all time favorite show as a kid. I had the gun the badge and some of the games, including the AURORA model.
    My hope is that the fill doesn’t turn into another trashed version of a great series that was done with I Spy a few years ago. Matt Damon would be a great choice for Solo, however the next role of Ilya should be someone who can pull it off like David McCalum did. The actor that played Chekov in the last Star Trek film might be a good choice he has the accent down. I can’t remember his name. I also hope the film has some real intrigue to it and not just the fx which can easil over load the content and balance of the plot. The A-Team flick had a great story but the focus on the FX lost the plot. I am looking forward to the film.
    Peace Pat

  5. As this new regime plots to reopen channel d….it is best to leave sleeping thrushes in their nests….without Vaughn and McCallum no one can take up the wing….leave Del Floria’s shop closed….

  6. Open channel D..Lets hope they don’t screw it up as badly as Hollywood did the Wild Wild West movie………