Soderbergh might direct Man from UNCLE

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He transformed a long-forgotten Rat Pack movie into the first of a blockbuster franchise with his remake of Ocean’s Eleven. Now, Steven Soderbergh looks set to turn his attentions to The Man From UNCLE, the 1960s TV serial that followed the adventures of international spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.


According to the Hollywood Reporter, Soderbergh is being approached to take over directing duties on the long-gestating project. He will bring with him Scott Z Burns, who wrote his film The Informant! as well as Contagion, the director’s upcoming medical thriller.

David Dobkin, the current incumbent, is stepping aside to take a producer’s role. He had planned an action comedy take on the material, but it is as yet unknown which way Soderbergh will choose to go. Apart from anything else, the film-maker is one of the most mercurial in Hollywood: as well as the blockbuster Ocean’s films he has made movies as diverse as Traffic, a multi-stranded think-piece, Solaris, an existential sci-fi remake, and The Girlfriend Experience, a low-budget sex drama. His first foray into action territory, Haywire, will arrive in cinemas next year. It stars Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas.

A film of The Man From UNCLE has been in development at Warner Bros since the 1990s. The original TV show, which aired from 1964 to 1968, saw Vaughn and McCallum as members of the titular United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, the former playing an American and the latter a Russian spy. It was one of a number of spy shows which flourished in the wake of the success of the early James Bond films, and 007 creator Ian Fleming was one of those involved in its conception.

The show joins a number of other 1960s spy series that have made it to the big screen, including Mission Impossible, spoof Get Smart and Britain’s answer to them, The Avengers. Of these, only the former has proved to have any legs on the big screen, with plans for a fourth instalment reportedly in the works and a worldwide series gross for the Tom Cruise vehicle of more than $1.4bn (Β£880m).

14 Responses to “Soderbergh might direct Man from UNCLE”

  1. This is bad news, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think any of the current generation of film makers understand the spirit of these 60’s shows. They totally ruined Get Smart, which is an absolute classic, as was The Avengers. As for Mission Impossible, it’s nothing like the original TV series (I only saw one of the films), and again misses the animating spirit. Why don’t these guys just write an original script instead of making travesties of classic TV? Is this the Hollywood version of the Bollywood mania to copy from a foreign film’s dvd? πŸ˜‰

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    • btw sorry, sm havent seen any of original.. as wasnt even born then.. but i have seen

      Mission impossible (all) – i am huge fan of it and tom cruise.. the first one was one of the best modern spy thrillers, second was a dream movie for any kid.. and third one was a good serious affair.. and mature.. looking forward to 4th installment called ghoist protocol.. i guess they have here just took name and music and concept and sold it on basis of cruise.. and worldwide audience just want cruise!! (3rd one underperform as cruise started to lose his career)

      get smart – was ok ok..

      so i guess they take them as they have fan base already and helps.. but agree with u except for MI, its special movie for me

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      • I think the one I saw was MI 2 — my first and only film of Tom Cruise as well. My reaction at the end was — “it’s a poor man’s James Bond.” The plot had many holes (even the reviews said it didn’t have as many as the previous film, and that was the kindest thing they could find about it). But it in no way resembled the original MI TV series. The main point of the TV series (which I really liked and used to watch regularly) was that the whole thing was a *team* effort. Each member of the team had his or her own special expertise, all of which had to come together for the successful accomplishment of the mission. And of course, all their doings were off the record, so that if they got into any trouble, no one would come to their rescue or offer them any protection.

        I know you weren’t born at the time of most of these classic TV series, and that’s the tragedy. You will now think that the stupid and much watered down versions you saw are the real thing. 😦

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        • hahaha … anyways thnks for that info.. btw u might like to watch this trailer.. NO ONE KILLED JESSICA.. have posted it but sattu might be sleeping..

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        • I don’t like the MI series as a whole, but I think the first one is the only decent one. It has De Palma’s florid visual style and while I can’t say whether or not it’s true to the spirit of the original (probably not) it is, I find, the most evocative and enjoyable of the three (and counting) films.

          JJ Abrams, the modern TV icon, directed the third film and in every other interview mentioned what he wanted to do with the film was restore the show’s “team effort” sensibility, for what it’s worth. I personally didn’t like the resulting film much at all but it was far better than the second which I found pretty awful.

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          • I love the first one but I find the sequels guilty pleasures as well though admittedly the second one is rather soulless!

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          • hahaha GF i knew it u would say that for second MI, john woo one.. but i would agree.. now.. but i have sentimental attachment with it..

            its the only movie i remember correectly from childhood from beginning to end.. as i went to NATRAJ THEATER (NOW pulled down, and new building sadly) it was the only theater which showed english movies always at that time 4 shows in ahmd.

            and i didnt knew cruise before i entered, or mi series, and frankkly at that age i would prefer john woo film even if i had seen de palma!!!

            and that opening scene of cruise throwing goggles and exploding and background theme.. and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 coming on screen.. i was sold.. and was whosoever that cool actor was i became a fan!! loved it..

            also when he sends that girl to villain place i felt it was MAIN KHILADI TUN ANARI.. LIKE akshay kumar sending shilpa to shakti kapoor !!!

            also loved the action sequence and hans zimmer music specially injection and later in the movie near to climar operatic feel.. and bike exchange.. it was and remains most favourite movies of my even today.. it was my child dream to become ethan hunt and it remains so πŸ™‚

            love it …

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          • I found the first one too difficult to follow tho it is probably the closest to the TV series.
            I enjoyed the second one quite a bit and this is the only movie where Thandie newton has looked good.

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  2. “I enjoyed the second one quite a bit and this is the only movie where Thandie newton has looked good.”

    LOL.. rajen and may i add frankly

    thats the only movie of thandie newton i have seen.. if so she has done other flicks i havent even heared

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  3. Wait, we are discussing Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible? He should have never jumped on that couch!

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    • hahaha.. u know saket herein india we mostly didnt get that news.. and even if we did it was ohk.. than what moment i felt and nor does it matter i feel.. he remians a huge star worldwide except america..

      i still dont get it how a couch jump can cost u so badly!!.. maybe u are able to explain.. i hope.. as may be being in america.. it might help u to unbderstand mentality

      Like

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