Steven Soderbergh to Direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?

The Bourne boom is still in full effect in Hollywood right now, as studios continue to set the wheels in motion on more spy movies and espionage-themed thrillers. One fairly hot property in the genre right now is Warner Brothers’ The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a feature film based on the popular ’60s TV series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. They’ve been trying to set this up for years now, and back in April they hired Max Borenstein to write a script, with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) in mind to direct. This week, however, we’ve got word on an exciting change of personnel. It sounds like Steven Soderbergh will be taking Dobkin’s place in the director’s chair, and The Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns will pen a new script. Clearly the only word for this is awesome.

Burns has worked with Soderbergh on his last two films, The Informant!, and the upcoming Contagion. Soderbergh himself is fresh off directing Haywire, an Alias-esque action-thriller starring Gina Carano, so it sounds like he’s in the right frame of mind to take this on. David Dobkin is apparently still on board as a producer, but I think we can all agree that Soderbergh is a much more interesting choice to direct.

I’ll be most curious to see how much of a comedic angle they take, and whether they decide to modernize it or keep it as a period piece. Soderbergh might seem like the kind of guy to keep it set in the ’60s, but then again, he did update Ocean’s Eleven while also keeping it stylish and fun as hell. According to Heat Vision, they’re looking to shoot it at the end of next year, and I, for one, can’t wait. Are you pumped to see Soderbergh take on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?

  • Maopheus

    Trying to think of who would be a good cast for this movie.

  • Well it might be an obvious choice, but apparently George Clooney is already interested:

  • Clooney would be a decent choice, however the only problem with him starring in it would be if they intend to make a franchise of it, then Clooney may be a little too old to star in a series of movies like that.

  • Maopheus

    I was thinking of someone younger than Clooney. I keep thinking Chris Pine, maybe because his picture is on the right. Someone who has that sense of humor. Of course, he’ll not want to make a habit of starring in movie versions of iconic 1960’s TV series.

  • Fan from U.N.C.L.E.

    I would love to see this kept set in the 1960s, and NOT updated. That is where U.N.C.L.E. belongs. I beg them not to do an update like “Mission Impossible.” Those are horrible as “remakes.” The “Mission Impossible” films were not remakes at all. They were just action vehicles and could have been titled anything. Updating destroys the essence of the being. It’s like saying the current Batman films are “updates” of the Adam West TV series. They’re two different animals.

    Keep the humor purely tongue in cheek as in the first season, not farcical as in season three. Daniel Craig’s “Casino Royale,” over Peter Seller’s version, if you know what I mean. No slapstick. No cheese. No two by fours smacking Illya in the head. Please don’t destroy the fond memories of my childhood.

    My thought on casting: Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Reid, on “Criminal Minds”) to play Illya Kuryakin. He’d have to cut the hair and maybe beef up a bit, but he favors David McCallum and can act.

    I think bringing the original actors into the movie in some capacity would be a nice tribute to the fans of the original show, but, in what capacity, I don’t know. I thought about Robert Vaughn or David McCallum as Alexander Waverly, but… not sure. They need to be in there somewhere, even if just a cameo scene in the “Mask Club.” I could see a nightclub scene with Vaughn and McCallum each squiring an actress who played on the show. Wouldn’t it be great to see Senta Berger or Nancy Kovack Mehti back in a cameo? Maybe even Stefanie Powers and Noel Harrison in a role. Speaking of which – maybe Harrison as Waverly? He has that affable but curmudgeonly British look, nowadays.

    If they would consult with Danny Biederman (who owns a lot of the original props) and Robert Short (who owns the original U.N.C.L.E. Piranha car) and who both understand and love the show as we original fans do, it would be a HUGE source of help in capturing the feel of the show. If set in the 60s, I can see U.N.C.L.E. “upgrading” the communicators for the field agents from the cigarette pack communicator to the pen communicator in one scene.

    I hope they keep the first season music for this film. Excellent score. Can’t be beat. That drum intro and “march-like” quality to the rest of the theme sets the pace for the action.

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Joey

    Clooney and pitt they were good in the oceans 11 or if they ever did a In like Flint movie brad would perfect for that .

  • Why hasn’t anyone written any U.N.C.L.E. novels? At least one in the past ten years anyway. It just seems very strange to me.