Superspy action movie Kingsman: The Secret Service hits U.S. theaters this Friday (and is already playing in places like the U.K.), but it's not the only big studio project featuring covert agents releasing in 2015. There's another one arriving this summer, in the shape of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: a film adaptation of the 1960s TV series, as was co-written and directed for the big screen by Guy Ritchie.
Man from U.N.C.L.E. takes place during the 1960s, as the CIA spy Napoleon Solo and Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin are forced to overlook the hostilities between their respective countries - as the Cold War rages on - and work together, in order to take down a dangerous criminal network dedicated to plunging the world into chaos. You can get your first look at Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) as, respectively, Solo and Kuryakin in Ritchie's film, by watching the Man from U.N.C.L.E. trailer, featured above.
The James Bond franchise has, during Daniel Craig's run as Agent 007, shifted away from the camp and irony that was inherent to the movie property before then, but Man from U.N.C.L.E. appears to follow Kingsman's lead - and embrace more of that playful tone with its cloak and dagger antics. It doesn't appear that Man from U.N.C.L.E. plays its '60s backdrop for laughs like an Austin Powers movie would, but it does seem to be presenting its setting with style - and harkening back to a spirit of escapism and allure that was popular during the decade (think Charade), but with a modern edge to the proceedings.
Indeed, that's also the vibe given off by those Man from U.N.C.L.E. images, which EW premiered just before the trailer launched online:
The cast of Man from U.N.C.L.E. includes such folk as Alicia Vikander (Seventh Son), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), and Hugh Grant - with the latter playing Waverly, who is traditionally Solo and Kuryakin's boss. Grant recently spoke with Collider about the film and confirmed that they key idea with this TV show-turned movie adaptation is indeed "'60s-style cool" (as the trailer suggests).
“I think it’s quite cool and stylish. It’s set in the 60s, sort of mid 60s, and so the costumes, the sets, the hairdos and the sunglasses just kind of rock. They’re just cool. And visually it should be amazing. It’s set in Italy, Greece and London, and it’s like, you know, a sort of throwback to those 60s thrillers.”
Ritchie scaled much larger box office heights with his Sherlock Holmes movies (which, like Man from U.N.C.L.E., present a stylized portrait of a historical period) than with his earlier films: the quippy crime/thrillers Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. That said, seeing as Ritchie co-penned the Man from U.N.C.L.E. script with his trusted producer Lionel Wigram, it's possible this project falls somewhere between the style and wit of his Hollywood and British film productions - something that might not just please those who prefer Ritchie when he's in RocknRolla filmmaking mode, but also give rise to another popular movie franchise, if all works out well.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opens in U.S. theaters on August 14th, 2015.