‘Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ Gets a Synopsis & Production Start Date; Full Cast Revealed

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 4th, 2013 at 9:47 am,

Man of Steel Review starring Henry Cavill Amy Adams Michael Shannon and Laurence Fishburne Man from U.N.C.L.E. Gets a Synopsis & Production Start Date; Full Cast Revealed

Some of our readers have taken issue with the decision to award Henry Cavill with the “Rising Star” title in our Summer 2013 Movie Awards, but the actor – formerly known as Henry VIII’s “Bro” Charles on The Tudors and abs man Theseus in Tarem Singh’s Immortals – has cemented his place as the newest onscreen incarnation of Superman, thanks to his performance in Man of Steel; meaning, he’ll be appearing in the sequel (featuring Batman) and potentially future DC shared universe installments, like Justice League, in the years to come.

In case that wasn’t enough, a few months ago Cavill replaced Tom Cruise in what could wind up becoming a successful classic TV show-turned movie franchise relaunch, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The movie reboot, based upon the TV series that ran from 1964-68, was going to pair Cruise opposite Social Network (cough, and Lone Ranger, cough) star Armie Hammer, before Cavill took the former’s spot in the cast.

Man from U.N.C.L.E. will retain the basic setup from the original series, where two agents – in the movie’s case, American CIA employee Napoleon Solo (Cavill) and Russian KGB man Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) – must overlook the longstanding tensions between their respective countries, in order to work together at the height of the Cold War in the early 1960s. Here is the official synopsis for those characters’ big screen outing, from the WB press release:

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.

man from uncle movie casting shortlist Man from U.N.C.L.E. Gets a Synopsis & Production Start Date; Full Cast Revealed

The optimistic spirit and metaphor for international cooperation that’s inherent to the Man from U.N.CL.E. premise – which pits the titular fictional organization against the aforementioned “criminal organization” known as T.H.R.U.S.H. – seems to have been carried over in the reboot. That ought to be encouraging news, for the longtime fans who’ve been concerned about the original TV show’s thoughtfulness being tossed out – following director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (Side Effects) being replaced – now that Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie is overseeing the movie instead.

Here’s the official rundown of Ritchie’s collaborators behind the camera on Man from U.N.C.L.E. (which includes a couple of his old friends from other productions):

Ritchie’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes two-time Oscar®-nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“Gladiator”), production designer Oliver Scholl (“Jumper”), editor James Herbert (the “Sherlock Holmes” films), Oscar®-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Lincoln”) and Oscar®-winning key makeup and hair designer Sarah Monzani (“Quest for Fire,” upcoming “Edge of Tomorrow”).

Filming on Man from U.N.C.L.E. is scheduled to begin next week on September 9th, 2013 (at the time of writing this), with Ritchie taking his cues from a script draft that he penned with Ritchie/Wigram Production partner and Sherlock Holmes producer Lionel Wigram. Principal photography will take place in England, as well as Rome and Naples in Italy, so the globe-trotting feature should have an international flavor along the lines of the Mission: Impossible franchise (albeit, with Ritchie’s flashy moviemaking style).

Disney Armie Hammer The Lone Ranger No Mask Man from U.N.C.L.E. Gets a Synopsis & Production Start Date; Full Cast Revealed

Armie Hammer (sans mask) in Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger’

Lastly, the main cast includes Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), Hugh Grant (Cloud Atlas) and Jared Harris (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones). You may recall that the latter worked alongside Ritchie and Wigram on the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, where Harris played the nefarious Professor Moriarty.

The film boasts quite the solid roster of rising talent and seasoned acting veterans, all things considered; that is, despite the fact that its leads are coming off both the most successful franchise reboot and least successful property re-launch of the 2013 Summer Movie Season, respectively. Will Cavill and Hammer offset one another, giving rise to… um, the most adaquately-successful movie reboot of 2014/2015?


The Man from U.N.CL.E. currently does not have an official release date.

Source: Warner Bros.

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  1. Since Ritchie had a hand in writing and developing it, I have total faith in a decent translation. Helps when a much loved TV show is brought to the modern audience by someone who must have grown up watching and enjoying the show as a child.

  2. I do like this taking place in the 1960s.
    When Bond was being rebooted the last time
    I was for putting Bond himself back in that time.

    Elizabeth Debicki and Alicia Vikander are two of the
    most attractive, not to mention hot, actresses to
    arrive on the scene of late so I think the casting
    director has one keen eye is all I have to say.

    Henry Cavill will have a small window to
    get in Superman shape after this wraps
    and the MOS sequel starts since his look
    will be quite different for this one I assume.

    I wish someone other than Richie was
    directing but maybe he’ll dial down
    his style a little for this movie.

    • 60s.

      Please, give me a break with going back to the 60s. I mean really, few of us were born in the 60s.

      I am not up for seeing another Cold War era.

      Modernize it. There is enough tension in the world today without needing Russia as the Big Bad Wolf.

      • Yeah, well, I like all things retro. Beats today.
        Not sure this show now movie concept would work
        in a modern setting anyway and the filmmakers agree.

        • @Robert Palmar

          Those retro pieces, sometimes come off as campy. I am not saying about your views on retro. To me, Retro now is the 80s, 60s is classic.

          They did not have the gadgets like Bond did, I just do not want to see them try to make something from nothing.

          • For me, memories of the 80s are too vivid to be retro.
            I place retro as 40s and 50s and vintage as 20s and 30s.
            At least that is how my photograph collections are organized.

            The 60s still had some style carryover from the 50s for a time
            and so I referred to it as retro in my reply for that reason.
            Style quickly degraded by the end of the 60s though.

            In the hands of the wrong director a period piece
            can, yes, come off as camp even without trying and
            there Richie using some of his trademark flair just might
            make a scene campy by adding a modern subtext reference.

            This show conceit though, now movie, has more a danger
            of making something out of nothing if placed in the era of
            today with no real corresponding touchstones to this
            time that would resonate the same as the original.

            Manufacturing new character profiles that somehow
            mirror the relationships of the show and creating
            spy scenarios somehow similar to the past
            is just too far a stretch not to snap.

  3. Never watched the tv show but the premise along with talents like Cavill, Hammer and Ritchie are more than enough reasons to keep an eye on this.

  4. Cheers to Henry Cavill.

    My GF and I were fans of the “Tudors” and have been aware of Cavill’s talent long before he was chosen to play “Kal El/Superman.”

    Without question, Zack Snyder chose the perfect actor to become our generation’s SUPERMAN. Not an easy responsibility for an actor.

    Cavill will be able to branch out in “Man From An Uncle” – possibly ANOTHER franchise for him – in addition to other roles.

    The irony is that he probably has his hands TOO full to be able to be a contender for the next “Bond.”

    • * “The Man From Uncle”

    • Because you really think he would still have a shot at James Bond after getting superman???? This boat has sailed.
      I truely wish he got bond. He was very close. But now it’s next to impossible : he’s almost a legitimate star, plus he has one of the few role (batman, superman, Bourne) that is a direct competitor to James Bond either as a spy or a cultural icon.He will never get the part. They don’t want someone bigger than the part. Plus He was Campbell choice anyway. He most likely had some favor with broccoli considering he got so close.

      • I actually agree with your comment. I was basically just typing off the cuff.

        He’ll be playing Superman in the years ahead and that alone would consume his time, in addition to other roles.

        But I was also making reference to what you wrote. He came damn close to the role of Bond back in 2006. It was between him and Craig and Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson went for an older Bond.

        Without speculating what could have been, I think we have the best Supes and the best Bond.

  5. Henry Cavill was great in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002).
    You could see then he was destined for bigger things.
    That film was the best adaptation of the novel.

  6. Looks interesting, I just hope that after Richie is done with this project he can move on to Sherlock 3

    • Yeah Im hoping the rumor i heard a LONG time ago about SH3 filming in 2014 is true. And i think it could still happen. after Guy films this and after RDJ films Avengers next spring they could maybe start production on SH3 by Fall or Winter 2014 for a Winter 2015 release.

    • Sherlock 3 would be great but I’ld prefer another movie like Snatch.

  7. This film could be a what if, as to the chemistry cavill and hammer if hammer was cast as batman

  8. Napoleon Solo was never part of the CIA.

    He was Number 1 in Section 2

    Illya Kuryakin was Number 2 in Section 2

    Both worked for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

    U.N.C.L.E. is broken down into 8 sub Groups.

  9. I am anxious for this flick, since I grew up watching the old TV show. Glad cruise was replaced, as with him in the lead part, it would be more like “Handjob Solo”. He definitely would have been wrong for Napoleon S. Cavill might be OK, we’ll see. Not quite positive on Hammer, hard to picture him as Ilya, but I could be thinking back too hard to the old TV show, so will keep an open mind. I would like to see this do good, and lead to a franchise of several movies if well-done (just keep sex and an over-abundence of snarky humor out of it).

    Speaking of spies, and always thinking of super-heroes, etc., I would REALLY like to see someone pick up the rights to T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and do that as a movie (or even TV show, but prefer a movie or movies). Dynamo, Menthor, NoMan, Lightning (hmm, Flash and Quicksilver…you have competition!), the Thunder Squad, against people like the iron Maiden, etc…..now that would be great! Anyone else out there nostalgic and remember the old comics of the 60s (& maybe very early 70s)? Would that kind of movie make you fly naround the room saving the world?

    • Michael Uslan has the film rights to THUNDER Agents. IDW just released the first issue of their revamp.

  10. I hope for a new Sherlock Holmes movie after Ritchie films this, but id also love a new original film from him like Snatch or Lock Stock.

    • As long as he’s able to bring back Alan Ford and maybe The Stath, I’d be cool with that idea.

  11. Zero interest in this.

  12. Armie Hammer is like that guy from Battleship and John Carter movies, Gambit something…err…dunno his name, dont care. Just saying both these guys touch a movie and it bombs!! Doesnt matter if it has Hugh Jackman or Johny Depp in them, still it bombs by just their presence…

  13. I’d rather see Ritchie do more UK underworld crime movies, like John Woo, IM his UK movies are better, bring on Rock ‘N Rolla 2 please 😀

  14. GREAT! this show finally gets a movie-except that it should be in the 21st century
    with computers and cell phones. that’s what you don’t see in the 60’s version not
    to mention I was born three months after the show debuted. there parodies of this
    series like THE MOUSE FROM H.U.N.G.E.R. from TOM AND JERRY and KIDS FROM C.A.P.E.R.
    by Don Kisher, the man behind THE MONKEES. I hope this film doesn’t wind up like