Well, stills are starting to leak out from Warner Brothers’ new Man From U.N.C.L.E. film, directed by Guy Ritchie and due for an August release. I want to be excited about it, but so far, I’m not. The casting bugs me: Man Of Steel‘s Henry Cavill is playing Napoleon Solo, while The Lone Ranger‘s Armie Hammer assumes the role of Illya Kuryakin.
They’re both very “Hollywood” choices – big, beefy, square-jawed heroic-looking types… but that’s exactly the kind of actors that U.N.C.L.E. creators Sam Rolfe and Norman Felton didn’t want to play those roles. Rolfe & Felton specifically cast Robert Vaughn and David McCallum back in the day because neither of them were beefcake types. They wanted handsome men who were of normal stature, and not the stereotypical “action” sort of guys.
I’m also concerned that the movie is another unnecessary “origin” story, showing the two agents working together for the first time, with lots of obligatory friction, before U.N.C.L.E. (the organization) is founded. The film is set in the 60s, though, so that’s good.
Anyway, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out okay…