Sometimes it just takes getting the right people in place to get a project underway. That could be the case for the movie adaptation of the mid-sixties series Man From U.N.C.L.E. After sitting on the shelf for more than a decade, the people behind the scenes of the Warner Bros. film are being shuffled around to hopefully finally get this project off the ground.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ran on NBC from 1964 through 1968. The TV show stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as two spies, one American and one Russian, who work for an international law enforcement agency, the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (abbreviated to U.N.C.L.E.). The series, which credits Ian Fleming (the man behind James Bond) as a creator, also bore a short-lived spin-off in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., over twenty novels, and a 1983 reunion titled The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.
Originally Warner Bros. started working on the movie adaptation in the 1990s, with David Wilson writing the original script, and Max Borenstein working the rewrites. David Dobkin (The Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus) had been tapped as director. At that time, it was expected that the output would be geared towards action-comedy.
This movie adaptation is once again seeing life, with Dobkin moving from director to producer, and John Davis joining him. Steven Soderbergh, the man behind Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven, and Traffic, is in talks to take over as director. Scott Z. Burns, the writer of Soderbergh’s films The Informant and the upcoming Contagion would come into the project as well to write an all-new script.
It also looks like George Clooney may join the project as American spy Napoleon Solo, Vaughn’s old role. He and Soderbergh have worked together on several projects already. According to Playlist, the film will retain the 1960s setting, a time period that Soderbergh has a great affection for.
Current plans are for the picture to shoot in late 2001 but it may ultimately get pushed into 2012.
What do you think? Would you be interested in seeing The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie with these players? Do you think it stands a better chance than other TV show-based movies of being good?