Last month, we reported that George Clooney had dropped out of director Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of the 1960s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Prior to that, it was believed that Clooney would fill Robert Vaughn’s shoes as the character Napoleon Solo. Although we’re still unsure who Warner Bros. would like to take on that part, it does seem as if we have a better idea of who the studio would like to see fill another primary Man from U.N.C.L.E. role, that of Illya Kuryakin (played in the original by David McCallum). Apparently, Warner Bros. is looking for an actor in his 20s to play Illya, and at the top of their wish list? Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and Alexander Skarsgård. More after the jump.
Given the ever-increasing status of all three actors, it probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that they are atop a studio’s wish list for a major role in what would seem to be a priority project. In fact, I would venture to say that Gordon-Levitt, Gosling and Skarsgård probably find themselves on more than a couple of wish lists for any number of projects.
That said, the aspect of TheWrap‘s report that I find most interesting is the role in question. While Clooney was attached to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., very little was made of who might play the role of Illya. I guess with its singular title, many (myself included) just assumed that Clooney’s supposed role would be the main attraction. While that still may end up being the case, I find myself much more interested in the film if the studio is planning on featuring a sidekick type of relationship between an aging star and a rising one like Gordon-Levitt, Gosling or Skarsgård (apparently, a buddy movie in the vein of Lethal Weapon is what they have in mind).
Per the report, the candidates mentioned in this article only comprise three of the approximately twenty names that Warner Bros. are currently considering so their inclusion may be a long shot at best. Like I stated above, though, just knowing that the studio is looking to cast another prominent name in a younger role multiplies my interest in the project by a factor of at least ten.