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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a 2015 British-American action comedy spy film directed by Guy Ritchie, and co-written by Lionel Wigram and Ritchie, based on the 1964 MGM television series of the same name, which was created by Ian Fleming, Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe. The film stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant. The film was released on August 14th, 2015 and grossed over $100 million worldwide.

Producer John Davis optioned the film rights to the 1960s TV series in 1993, setting up a development deal for an adaptation with Warner Bros. and series producer Norman Felton. Davis has estimated that he commissioned 12 or 14 different scripts over the course of 20 years, with writers Jim and John Thomas, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and Scott Z. Burns. Quentin Tarantino was briefly attached following the success of Pulp Fiction, but opted to make Jackie Brown instead. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. continued to labor in development hell with directors Matthew Vaughn and David Dobkin.

In November 2010, George Clooney showed interest in the film, and was in talks for the lead role of Napoleon Solo. Steven Soderbergh was attached to direct Scott Z. Burns' screenplay, with production slated to begin in March 2012 and it was set to become a reunion project for director Soderbergh and Clooney, frequent collaborators who hadn't worked together since 2007's "Ocean's Thirteen." Clooney had to drop out due to a recurring back injury suffered while shooting "Syriana," after which Bradley Cooper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Alexander Skarsgard, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Joel Kinnaman, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm and Ryan Reynolds (so, you know, pretty much every male in Hollywood over the age of 25) were all considered for the lead role.

Soderbergh followed Clooney and dropped out in late 2011 after a dispute over the film's budget, which Warner Bros. wanted to keep at $60 million, a decidedly low figure for a film with period sets and international locales. The project then went to one of WB's favored directors, Guy Ritchie and things pretty much stalled from there. Until March 18th, 2013, when Tom Cruise was in early talks to take the lead in the film as Napoleon Solo with Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin. Then on May 23rd, 2013 Cruise left the film project because he wanted to concentrate on his upcoming Mission: Impossible 5 and the project stalled again. But not for long. British actor Henry Cavill (fresh off playing Superman) was cast to replace Cruise as Napoleon Solo. In 2005, Cavill was a final choice for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. The producers and director Martin Campbell were torn between him and Daniel Craig; reportedly Campbell supported Cavill but the producers preferred an older Bond. Craig ultimately landed the role. Cavill may have missed out on Bond but in playing Napoleon Solo he gets a chance to be an Ian Fleming spy anyway since Fleming had a hand in creating the original Solo character for the TV series. The Bond producers had Fleming drop out of the U.N.C.L.E. TV project before the pilot aired on NBC-TV fearing his involvement in a "TV show" would not reflect well on the immensely popular Bond films. One of Fleming's cotributions to the TV series was the name "Solo" (as well as April Dancer who was originally to be Mr Waverly's secretary). Some elements of Fleming's Solo (from a memo reproduced in Time Life's DVD box set of the series) that didn't make it into Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe's TV show, like his penchant for cooking, manifest themselves in Guy Ritchie's Solo.

Cavil join Armie Hammer was cast in the second lead role as Illya Kuryakin on April 24th, 2013, with Cruise set as Solo. Hammer's paternal great-grandmother was Russian-born actress and singer Olga Vadimovna Vadina (aka Von Root), the daughter of a tsarist general. His paternal Great-Grandfather, Armand Hammer was an American business manager and owner, most closely associated with Occidental Petroleum, a company he ran from 1957 until his death, though he was known as well for his art collection, his philanthropy, and for his close ties to the Soviet Union.

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander joined the film on May 8th, 2013, as the female lead. Emily Blunt was nearly cast as the female lead when Soderbergh attached to the project. Elizabeth Debicki was cast in a femme fatale role on July 31st, 2013; Rose Byrne and Charlize Theron were earlier considered for the same part. On August 8th, 2013, Hugh Grant joined the cast as Alexander Waverly, the head of United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E). Jared Harris was cast as Saunders on September 4th, 2013, and Luca Calvani was cast as a villain, Alexander. Simona Caparrini was also cast to play Contessa.

Principal photography on the film commenced on September 9th, 2013. In October 2013, filming took place at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Royal Victoria Docks, London and Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit in West Sussex, UK.

Filming took place in various locations throughout Italy, including the Gulf of Naples, and Baiae Castle. Kuryakin and Teller's first outings as an assumed couple were shot at just below the Spanish Steps; the Grand Hotel Plaza, in Via del Corso; and in the gardens of antic Theater of Marcellus.

Two locations stood in place for Berlin sites on either side of the wall: the public toilet fight between Solo and Kuryakin was shot in Regent's Park in London, while the car chase during the movie's first act was shot in Chatham Historic Dockyard, UK.

Director Guy Ritchie finalized the script throughout production: "He’s quite intuitive and tends to constantly rewrite stuff, which he does even when they’re shooting. He’ll rewrite things in the morning if they’re shooting that day, working with the actors if something doesn’t feel right." says long term collaborator David Allcock.

The musical score for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was composed by Daniel Pemberton. A soundtrack album was released by WaterTower Music on August 7th, 2015. The film was originally set for a January 16th, 2015 release, but on August 12th, 2014, Warner Bros moved the film's release date to August 14th, 2015.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. grossed $45 million in North America and $55.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of slightly over $100 million, against a budget of $75 million. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13.4 million, which was about $5 million below expectations, finishing 3rd at the box office. Critics called the film, "an uneven action thriller with just enough style to overcome its lack of substance." Still, audiences (and fans of the original TV series) seemed to like it. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 68%, with an average rating of 6.2/10. On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.


Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo

Henry Cavill (born 5 May 5th 1983) is a British actor who began his acting career starring as Albert Mondego in the 2002 film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. He would later star in minor and supporting roles in television shows such as BBC's The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Midsomer Murders and The Tudors before transitioning to more mainstream Hollywood films such as Tristan & Isolde, Stardust and Immortals.

In 2008, Cavill became the face and official spokesperson of the Dunhill fragrance collection for men campaign. He was also cast in the main ensemble of the 2007 Showtime series The Tudors, starring as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk until the series' end in 2010. Cavill would gain further prominence and international fame playing the titular superhero Superman in the 2013 reboot film Man of Steel, which became a commercial success and the highest-grossing Superman film of all time, a role that he will reprise in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League: Parts 1 and 2.

Cavill was born the fourth of five boys on the Bailiwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands His mother, Marianne, was a secretary in a bank, and his father, Colin, a stockbroker. He was educated at St. Michael's Preparatory School in Saint Saviour, Jersey, before attending Stowe School near Buckingham, north Buckinghamshire, England.

Cavill had been set to play Superman in McG's 2004 film, Superman: Flyby. However, McG pulled out of the project and direction was taken over by director Bryan Singer, who recast Brandon Routh as the lead in Superman Returns. Cavill was also the cause of a write-in effort from fans to see him cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). The role eventually went to Robert Pattinson. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, was outspokenly in favour of Cavill playing the character of Edward Cullen in the Twilight film, calling him her "perfect Edward". However, by the time production of the film began, Cavill was too old to play the character, and again the role went to Pattinson.

In 2005, Cavill was one of the final choices for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. The producers and director Martin Campbell were torn between him and Daniel Craig; reportedly Campbell supported Cavill but the producers preferred an older Bond. Craig ultimately landed the role. Despite reports that he was a contender for Batman in Batman Begins, Cavill confirmed that he never auditioned for nor was offered the role.

In 2009, Cavill began dating British equestrian rider Ellen Whitaker after they had met at the Olympia London International Horse Show. They became engaged in May 2011. In May 2012, the pair ended their engagement.

Cavil and The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco dated for 10 days in the summer of 2013 under the watchful eye of the paparazzi. "I had no one following me until I met Superman," Kaley, told Cosmopolitan Magazine of her relationship with Cavil. "I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and my whole life, I could go anywhere, do anything. There had not been one paparazzi photo of me until like several months ago. The recognition was crazy."

Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin

Armand "Armie" Hammer (born August 28th, 1986) is an American actor known for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in the 2010 film The Social Network, Clyde Tolson in J. Edgar (2011), Prince Andrew Alcott in Mirror Mirror (2012) and the title character in the 2013 feature film The Lone Ranger (which we kind of liked).

Hammer was born in Los Angeles, California. His mother, Dru Ann, is a former bank loan officer, and his father, Michael Armand Hammer, owns several businesses, including Knoedler Publishing and Armand Hammer Productions (a film/television production company). He has a younger brother, Viktor.

Hammer's paternal great-grandfather was oil tycoon and philanthropist Armand Hammer. Armand's own parents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and Armand's father, Julius Hammer, who was from Odessa, "founded the Communist Party in New York." Armie's paternal great-grandmother was Russian-born actress and singer Olga Vadimovna Vadina (aka Von Root), the daughter of a tsarist general. His paternal grandmother was from Texas, while his mother's family is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2013, genealogical research by staff members of Ancestry.com stated that one of his eight times great-grandfathers was Cherokee chief Kanagatucko.

Hammer dropped out of high school in eleventh grade to pursue an acting career (but subsequently, he took college courses). In 2012, Hammer stated that "for all intents and purposes", his parents disowned him when he dropped out of high school and began acting, but are now supportive of him and proud of his work.

After appearing in the television series Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, Reaper and Desperate Housewives, Hammer played the Christian evangelist Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years, which premiered in October 2008.

In 2007, Hammer was hand-picked by filmmaker George Miller, after a long search, to star in Justice League: Mortal as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film was to be directed by Miller, but Miller left the project. In 2010, Hammer co-starred in David Fincher's The Social Network, about the creation of Facebook. He portrayed the identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, with Josh Pence, using CGI. Hammer stated that he had to learn how to row on both sides of a boat in order to play the twins, who are rowing champions. In January 2012, he would voice the Winklevoss twins in an episode of The Simpsons titled "The D'oh-cial Network".

Hammer married television personality Elizabeth Chambers on May 22nd, 2010, and their wedding was featured in the January 2011 issue of Town & Country. On December 1st, 2014, Hammer and Chambers welcomed a baby girl, Harper.

Alicia Vikander as Gaby Teller

Alicia Vikander (born October 3rd 1988) is a Swedish actress and dancer. Vikander began her career by appearing in Swedish short films and television series, most notably in the popular TV drama Andra Avenyn (2008–11). She made her feature film debut in the film Pure (2010), for which she won the Guldbagge Award for Best Actress. Vikander gained international attention when she appeared in the 2012 adaptation of Anna Karenina, co-starred in the Academy Award-nominated Danish film A Royal Affair (2012) and in the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate (2013). In 2015, she gained public recognition for her starring roles in the films Testament of Youth, Ex Machina, The Danish Girl and Burnt (2015) with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller.

Vikander was born in Gothenburg, the daughter of Maria Fahl Vikander, a stage actress, and Svante Vikander, a psychiatrist. Her parents are from small villages in the north and south of Sweden, respectively and separated when Vikander was five months old, and she was mostly raised by her single mother. She has five siblings on her father's side and while growing up, Vikander says she got the best of both worlds, being an only child to her mother and being surrounded by a big family when she went to her father’s house every second week.

She trained ballet with the Royal Swedish Ballet School from the age of nine in Gothenburg. At the age of 15, Vikander moved from Gothenburg to train at its upper school in Stockholm where she lived on her own, aiming to become a principal dancer. She appeared in several musicals at the Gothenburg Opera, such as The Sound of Music, Les Misérables and would travel around the world for summer courses, training one summer at the School of American Ballet. Her dance career was sidelined by injuries in her late teens and she ended up auditioning for drama school but was turned down, twice. Vikander was admitted to law school but she never attended, instead following her dream to become an actress.

Vikander was named as one of the 10 Actors to Watch: Breakthrough Performances of 2012 at the 20th Hamptons International Film Festival, was nominated for BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2013.

Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria Vinciguerra

Elizabeth Debicki (born August 1990) is an Australian stage and film actress. After making her feature film debut in A Few Best Men (2011), she appeared in The Great Gatsby (2013) and starred in Sydney Theatre Company production of The Maids, for which she received a nomination for the Helpmann Award.

Debicki was born in Paris to a Polish father and an Australian mother, who were both ballet dancers. When she was five, the family moved to Melbourne, where she grew up with two younger siblings. She became interested in ballet at an early age and trained as a dancer until deciding to switch to theatre. A student at Huntingtower School in Melbourne's east, Debicki achieved two perfect study scores in Drama and English and was the school's dux when she graduated in 2007. In 2010, she completed a degree in drama at the University of Melbourne's Victorian College of the Arts. In August 2009, she was the recipient of a Richard Pratt Bursary for outstanding acting students in their second year of training.

Debicki made her film debut with a brief appearance in the 2011 film A Few Best Men. After seeing Debicki's audition reel, director Baz Luhrmann flew her to auditions in Los Angeles. In May 2011, Luhrmann announced that she had been cast as Jordan Baker in his 2013 film The Great Gatsby.

While co-starring in the Guy Ritchie-directed film adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. she learned to drive on the set.

Hugh Grant as Mr Waverly

Hugh Grant (born September 9th 1960) is an English actor and film producer. He has received a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and an Honorary César. His films have earned more than US$2.4 billion from 25 theatrical releases worldwide. Grant achieved international success after appearing in the Richard Curtis-scripted Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). He used this breakthrough role as a frequent cinematic persona during the 1990s, delivering comic performances in mainstream films like Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) and Notting Hill (1999) and established himself as a leading man skilled with a satirical comic talent. Grant has expanded his oeuvre with critically acclaimed turns as a cad in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), About a Boy (2002), and American Dreamz (2006). He later played against type with multiple cameo roles in the epic sci-fi drama film Cloud Atlas (2012).

Within the film industry, Grant is cited as an anti-star who approaches his roles like a character actor, and attempts to make his acting appear spontaneous. Hallmarks of his comic skills include a nonchalant touch of irony/sarcasm and studied physical mannerisms as well as his precisely-timed dialogue delivery and facial expressions. The entertainment media's coverage of Grant's life off the big screen has often overshadowed his work as an actor. He has been outspoken about his disrespect for the profession of acting, and in his disdain towards the culture of celebrity and hostility towards the media. In a career spanning 30 years, Grant has repeatedly claimed that acting is not a true calling but just a job he fell into.



Official trailer of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.
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