After the disappointing Fantastic Four movie that came out last week, we finally get something nice and smooth to wash it down with. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is currently showing in Philippine cinemas, and it’s just what we need to get over the bad reviews.
The action-comedy spy-fi flick is out under the direction of critically acclaimed Guy Ritchie, the man behind Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. If you’re familiar with Ritchie’s work, you know to expect that the film will be action-packed, filled with quick and witty dialogue, and the proper use of slow motion.
The lead characters of the film are Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, as played by Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer respectively. Hugh Grant will play the role of their boss, so that’s a major addition to the already awesome casting. From the looks of it, Alicia Vikander will be stealing every scene she’s in.
If you aren’t sure what you’re getting into when you step into the cinema, there are a lot of fun facts about the movie as well as its cast members. Here are 8 things you should know about The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
8. The movie is based on a TV show from the 60s
The original TV show came out in 1964 and ended in 1968. This show was pretty remarkable for a lot of reasons, but the best is that the show is about an American (Solo) and Russian (Kuryakin) working together for a counter-espionage agency to fight global threats. This came out during the Cold War; the same Cold War that boiled down the tension between the United States and former USSR into a Spy vs. Spy conflict.
7. Several production attempts
The first time the series was supposed to be made into a movie was in 1993, then again in 2011. Both times, production stopped almost as soon as it began. Over the course of several years, around 15 scripts were written. Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Matthew Vaughn, and David Dobkin were some of the directors attached to the various attempts that inevitably went to development hell.
Luckily, Guy Ritchie held on and made sure to got the movie made.
6. The bid for the part of Napoleon Solo
After Clooney had to back out of the role, several actors (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Alexander Skarsgård, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Kinnaman, Russell Crowe, Chris Pine, Ryan Reynolds, and Jon Hamm) expressed interest in the lead role.
By 2013, Tom Cruise was in early talks to take the lead in the film. He too had to back out due to commitments to another spy-fi film, a film franchise he made famous, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
The role eventually ended up with Superman himself, Henry Cavill.
5. Henry Cavill has evolved throughout the years
Henry Cavill became a household name for his role as Superman in the destruction derby movie Man of Steel, as well as for the eagerly anticipated Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Did you know that he’s also the the lead of an iconic movie and show? He was in the main cast for all seasons of the Showtime pseudo-history fic The Tudors. In 2002, he played Albert Mondego in The Count of Monte Cristo. Its amazing for fans to see how much he has changed in the last 13 years.
4. This isn’t the first time Armie Hammer has played an iconic fictional character
If you’re unlucky enough to remember The Lone Ranger, you’ll know that the eponymous character was played Armie Hammer. This makes the character of Illya Kuryakin the second time for Hammer to bring a TV character to the silver screen. While The Lone Ranger was very popular with radio and TV serials, and it’s a good bet that The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will do even better.
3. The original Illya Kuryakin
David McCallum played the original Illya Kuryakin in the original 60s show. Luckily for us, he has been on TV for the last 50 years. He is currently playing Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the long-running hit show NCIS. Apart from this, he’s also the voice of Professor Paradox, the time-travelling mentor and friend of Ben Tennyson from the multi-franchise series Ben 10.
In one episode, Mark Harmon’s character and primary, NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, was asked what Ducky looked like when he was younger. Gibbs replies, “Illya Kuryakin.”
2. The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. had a spin-off called the Girl from U.N.C.L.E. It used a female lead to keep up with the popularity of the Female Movement at the time. It has also been claimed that the Girl from U.N.C.L.E. provided inspiration for the show ALIAS. Makes us wonder if the Man from U.N.C.L.E. film succeeds at the box office, maybe a spin-off movie can be made?
1. Star Trek roots
Contrary to popular belief, the long-time friendship of TV legends Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner didn’t start in Star Trek. They met in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., two years prior to the production of Star Trek. Shatner played a heroic new recruit for an U.N.C.L.E. mission, and Nimoy played a rival of the villain’s henchman.
Catch The Man from U.N.C.L.E., now showing in cinemas across the country! Leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the film!