THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.:
Director Guy Ritchie is set to remake/reinvent The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the popular 1960s television show which starred Robert Vaughn as Napolean Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin. Ritchie had intended to film his project with Tom Cruise in the lead role but Cruise has had to step aside due to his commitment to the Mission Impossible franchise. He will be filming Part 5 of that saga at roughly the same time.
Cruise would have been perfect for this project in light of his work in Mission Impossible. It’s been pointed out that the two films might be too similar and Cruise might be pushing his luck to take on both roles. It’s being speculated that Ritchie might not have to look too far for a suitable choice. Ritchie has already directed two Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey, Jr., who also possesses the same stoic personna demonstrated by Robert Vaughn. If Downey doesn’t mind doing a lot more stuntwork, this could be another coup for him.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. detailed the exploits of two super-spies for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement. Their main foe was T.H.R.U.S.H. (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity). The show was, in part, the conception of Ian Fleming, who wrote the James Bond novels. Working with co-creator Norman Felton, Fleming invented the characters of Napolean Solo and April Dancer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.). Solo was intended to be the sole focus of the show but a Russian agent’s appearance drew such an enthusiastic response that David McCallum (Kuryakin) was paired with Solo.
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were cast opposite each other in a 1964 episode, two years before being cast together on Star Trek. Jill Ireland, Anne Francis, James Doohan, Nancy Sinatra, Ivan Dixon, Leslie Nielsen, Vincent Price and Kurt Russell are among other stars who appeared on the show.
“JURASSIC PARK 4”:
In a good news/bad news scenario, Universal Pictures has released an official statement saying they will release “Jurassic Park 4” at a later date, giving the studio and filmmakers adequate time to bring fans of the franchise the best possible product. This is cleverly tap-dancing around the fact that there are major problems surrounding this film.
It’s not going too far out on the limb to note that these problems boiled over in the aftermath of producer Kathleen Kennedy leaving the project to step into her new job as President of Lucasfilms, Ltd. at Disney where she will oversee the production of “Star Wars Episode VII”. Kennedy, a long-time partner of Stephen Spielberg and co-founder of Amblin Entertainment, was obviously a major influence on the direction “J.P. 4” was taking.
Director Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) seems to be secure in his job but others in the development crew might be fired or laid off over disputes between them and the studio. Trevorrow had announced that the action would return to Isla Nublar, the site of the first film, which would hint at a reboot of the storyline. The biggest problem seems to be the script. Universal is said to be having a “hellacious time finalizing it before going in front of the camera”.
“J.P. 4” was supposed to be in theaters by June 13, 2014. That’s barely over a year away and, this being a special effects laden film, would essentially be a rush job. It’s likely that Spielberg might have intervened in the wake of Kennedy’s departure. Spielberg is producing the film while working on other projects.