After losing Steven Soderbergh in a mutual parting of the ways a few weeks ago over casting & budgetary differences, Deadline reports that Warner Bros have quickly slotted Guy Ritchie in as the new director of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Deadline suggest the deal seems to be in the early stages but it is for Ritchie and his new partner Lionel Wigram to setup at a new shingle based at WB to produce the first of a trilogy revival of the popular 60′s t.v. spy show.
Soderbergh’s Contagion & The Informant writer Scott Z. Burns has wrote the Cold War era London script adaptation of the international espionage series that centered on an American/Russian secret agency called United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (Or U.N.C.L.E. for short) which remains as a blueprint but it’s expected Ritchie will hire a new writer more suited to his sensibilities.
Ritchie, who I’m sure you don’t need reminding, came onto the scene with his post-Tarantino Brit gangster films Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch before most recently popularising Sherlock Holmes as a blockbuster film franchise (the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows had it’s World Premiere in the UK tonight and opens next Friday). He will likely shoot U.N.C.L.E. as his next film though it’s unknown whether the March start date Soderbergh had remains.
Still a lot of questions to be answered on this one, specifically who Ritchie might hire as his Napoleon Solo and Russian Illyva Kuryakin. After George Clooney bailed over fear of his back problems on a gruelling shoot, a bunch of actors talked to WB over the film including Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon and Joel Kinnaman but WB/Sodbergh never did see eye-to-eye after Clooney left.
With a new director on board, the merry-go-round starts again but we won’t be the only ones wondering if he decides to bring either Robert Downey Jr or Jude Law over as one of his leads.