Casting continues on director Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as another female role has been filled. The pic has been in development for years with a number of different directors coming and going, but Ritchie will finally be the one to see this thing through. After losing Tom Cruise in one of the lead roles, Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill was subsequently tapped to play U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo alongside Armie Hammer as fellow agent Illya Kuryakin. Alicia Vikander signed on to the film a few months ago, and now The Great Gatsby actress Elizabeth Debicki is set to play another female role in the pic. Hit the jump for more, including plot details for Ritchie’s “serious” take on the popular TV series.
News of Debicki’s involvement comes courtesy of Variety, which reports that the actress will likely play “some sort of femme fatale role.” A separate Variety report notes that Ritchie’s take on the material is described as “a fairly serious action pic set in the ‘60s” that will revolve around the origin of the two U.N.C.L.E. spies meeting for the first time—one American (Cavill) and one Russian (Hammer). Solo and Kuryakin are initially hostile towards one another in Ritchie’s pic, but it’s unknown how long the rivalry will play out in the finished film and whether another antagonist finally forces the two to work together.
Filming on the $75 million film is poised to get underway this September in London and Italy in anticipation of a targeted 2014 release, probably sometime during the holiday season if I had to guess. The script for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is credited to Ritchie and his Sherlock Holmes writing/producing partner Lionel Wigram, which means it’s doubtful that much of Scott Z. Burns’ draft (which was penned for director Steven Soderbergh) will make it into the film. Burns previously told us what the plot of he and Soderbergh’s Man from U.N.C.L.E. would’ve entailed:
“There was a thing that happened with a B-52 bomber in like 1966 or 1967 over Spain where it was refueling and there was an accident and it lost its payload and three bombs fell on Spain and the Atlantic, and they hadn’t been armed, but the contained warheads. So we scattered plutonium all over a farm field in Spain, the second bomb was recovered, but the there was a period of time when the third bomb was laying on the floor of the Mediterranean and no one could find it and so it was the race to find it that was what our episode was about, which I thought was going to be really, really cool and I’m bummed we didn’t get to do it.”
Again, there’s no telling how much—if any—of Burns’ story remains in Ritchie’s film, but he and Soderbergh definitely had a fun take on the material. Look for more casting news regarding The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to hit soon as that production start-date looms closer.