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

Man of Steel (Review) starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Laurence Fishburne

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 steve soderbergh movie

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
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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