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Guy Ritchie's 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Heads Into Production, Starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 3, 2013 at 1:59PM

Principal photography will get underway in the UK September 9 on Guy Ritchie's latest, "Man from U.N.C.L.E.," which brings CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Ilya Kuryakin of the popular 1960s TV series to the big screen. The film stars beefy Brit Henry Cavill (aka Superman) as Solo and Armie Hammer (aka the Lone Ranger) as Kuryakin.
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Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Principal photography will get underway in the UK September 9 on Guy Ritchie's latest, "Man from U.N.C.L.E.," which brings CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Ilya Kuryakin of the popular 1960s TV series to the big screen. 

Henry Cavill in "Man of Steel"
Henry Cavill in "Man of Steel"

The film stars beefy Brit Henry Cavill (aka Superman) as Solo and Armie Hammer (aka the Lone Ranger) as Kuryakin, with Alicia Vikander ("A Royal Affair"), newly announced Jared Harris ("Mad Men," Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows"), Elizabeth Debicki ("The Great Gatsby") and Hugh Grant, playing Waverly, in supporting roles.

The Warner Bros. film is the first to be made under Ritchie and producer Lionel Wigram's new banner Ritchie/Wigram Productions, which has a first-look deal with WB. Ritchie and Wigram also co-penned the script.

Here's the official synopsis:

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin.  Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.  The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

Ritchie took over the writing-directing reins last year for the long-in-the-works project, which previously had Steven Soderbergh attached. In May, Tom Cruise replaced George Clooney as Solo; this casting was changed again within the same month due to a conflict with Cruise's "Mission: Impossible 5" shoot, with Cavill stepping in as the new Solo replacement.

Ritchie's latest big-screen entries have been the Sherlock Holmes franchise films 2011's "Game of Shadows" and 2009's "Sherlock Holmes," starring Robert Downey Jr. as the eponymous detective. 

This article is related to: News, Warner Bros. , Armie Hammer, Henry Cavill


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.