Amongst the soon to be retiring Director’s extensive to-do list, Steven Soderbergh is working on a reboot/adaptation/whatever they are calling it these days of the 60′s spy TV series, The Man From Uncle. Regular Soderbergh sympathiser George Clooney was set to play the lead, Napolean Solo (presumably), but pulled out a few weeks ago for reasons unknown. It may well be that old chestnut, scheduling conflicts, but seeing as the script was apparently finished around the same time, it could be that Clooney didn’t like the role.
Meanwhile, The Wrap have reported on a list of apparently 20 possible names the producers want for what would have been Clooney’s co-star, russian agent Ilya Kuryakin (again presumably) and there are at least three great people on there. Soderbergh is very much an actor’s director, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise to see such hot names as Alexander Skarsgard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and true man of the moment, Ryan Gosling. No other names are mentioned in the article.
Soderbergh, and his collaborative screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Informant! and Contagion), will apparently be keeping the movie in keeping with the original series’ 60′s setting. Much of Soderbergh’s work has a very distinctive late sixties/early seventies feel, so he is the perfect man for the job. He isn’t known for huge box office or even critical success for the most part, so whilst the list of potentials is long, the list of those genuinely interested in the part may be shorter. Soderbergh has a good reputation, but to entice someone like Gosling, Burns script will have to be top-notch.
The inherent campiness in playing a 60′s spy may well be another sticking point, particularly as I’m assuming the successful candidate will have to use a Russian accent? I’m a Soderbergh fan, but even I’m not sure this film is going to be for me. A straight and serious dramatic action movie would certainly be exciting, but I don’t think this is quite what the director will be going for. Whoever is offered the part will need to be convinced that Clooney’s replacement will be top-notch, and I’ll be keeping an eye on who is cast in both parts. A couple of great names could really raise my interest in the project.
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