Who’s the (not so) new writer on the U.N.C.L.E. movie?

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt


The IMDB.COM ENTRY for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lists a new name on the list of writers: Jeffrey Hatcher, a playwright with a list of a dozen television, video and movie credits.

It’s hard to consider him a “new” writer on the project given it completed production in December. Presumably, Hatcher performed his work before production commenced, but there’s simply no additional information. Also, given how entries in IMDB can change based on member input, it’s unclear the source of the information..

The official Sept. 3 Warner Bros. press release doesn’t mention Hatcher. It says the movie’s screenplay is by director Guy Ritchie and his producing partner Lionel Wigram.

It’s certainly possible the final writing credit will change before the final release because of Writer’s Guild rules. For example, it’s not known whether Sam Rolfe, who developed the original show, will get a credit the way, say, Bruce Geller, creator of Mission: Impossible, receives on M:I movies.

Hatcher’s list of IMDB credits begins with a 1998 Columbo made-for-television movie. His IMDB entry lists some of his plays.

Meanwhile, a (pretty breathless) video showed up on YouTube that provides a primer about the movie. Not a lot new, but given how the film won’t be out until January 2015, it’s presented here.

U.N.C.L.E.’s director of photography talks up Cavill’s Solo

Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo reports for duty in January 2015

Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo

Thanks to C.W. Walker for the heads up.

The man who photographed next year’s movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has made public comments about Henry Cavill’s version of Napoleon Solo, according to THE INDEPENDENT IN IRELAND.

John Mathieson, the movie’s director of photography, commented about Cavill’s performance and Guy Ritchie’s work as director.

Here’s an excerpt:

Speaking at the launch of the new Samsung Curved UHD screen TV in London he said: “I thought Henry was terrific.

“He plays it quite humorously, everything’s slightly quirky, slightly sharp. It was very comic strip in some ways, I mean that in a good way.

“He plays it very differently [to Superman], this is much more earthbound. He’s a peacock, and he’s very funny. I thought he was great.”

(snip)

(I)t’s got a very British feel….We filmed in London on a digital camera but we were trying to give it more of a sixties feel.

“It’s a very good looking film, it’s set in the sixties, it’s very chic.”

Mathieson also said that Ritchie is “still cutting, he’s very close to finishing….We’ve got to do some post production to get that sixties look really right.”

None of this is startling. Crew members rarely talk down on a movie before it’s released. But there hasn’t been much U.N.C.L.E. publicity since the film completed shooting in early December.

The movie has been given a January 2015 release date by Warner Bros. Ritchie’s version, which he co-wrote with Lionel Wigram, is set in the early 1960s and depicts the origin of U.N.C.L.E. The original Warners’ press release said that Solo was a CIA agent and Illya Kuryakin a KGB operative involved in a joint operation. Armie Hammer has the Kuryakin role in the movie.

The original 1964-68 series, starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, downplayed Cold War references.

Earlier this week, some reshoots were filmed of a car chase, something that @laneyboggs2001 at Twitter had sniffed out. The main actors weren’t involved. Cavill is currently in Michigan for production of a Superman-Batman movie scheduled for release in May 2016.

The FBI season 7: end of an era

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

The seventh season of The FBI is now available from Warner Archive arm of Warner Bros. It would be the last season produced while J. Edgar Hoover, the long-time FBI director, was still alive.

Hoover never appeared on camera per se, but he still had a presence in the series. It might be in the form of an anxious secretary holding a telephone (“It’s MISTER HOOVER!”). It might be in the form of a cocky chess champion who has been persuaded to help out the bureau after emerging from what’s supposed to be Hoover’s office (“That quite a man in there.”). It might be in the form of the seeming omnipresent Hoover portraits in FBI offices or photographs on the desks of FBI agents.

Hoover had been instrumental in the series coming together, seeing it as a chance to promote the bureau’s image. He had an annual meeting with series star Efrem Zimbalist Jr. The bureau reportedly had veto power over casting of guest stars. Hoover was also thanked, by name, in the end titles.

There was occasional tension between the bureau and executive producer Quinn Martin (you can CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from the book Quinn Martin, producer to read more). But overall, Hoover had little reason to be displeased.

The seventh season of The FBI ran from Sept. 12, 1971, through March 19, 1972. Less than two months later, Hoover died at the age of 77. The show would run another two years but it wouldn’t quite be the same.

After Hoover’s death, FBI activity such as domestic spying and amassing large files on politicians came to light. There have been periodic attempts to take his name off FBI headquarters in Washington, but they haven’t been successful.

As for as the seventh season, it would be the final one to have a two-part episode. It would include familiar faces from previous seasons as guest stars (Bradford Dillman, Steve Inhat, Robert Drivas and Ralph Meeker) as well as actors who wouldn’t become famous until years later (Mark Hamill). It costs $49.95 and only ships in the U.S. For more information about ordering, CLICK HERE.

Search now available on home video

Search's main title logo

Search’s main title logo

Search, a spy-ish series that lasted only one season on NBC, is now available on home video in the U.S. through Warner Archive, Warner Bros.’s manufactured on demand arm.

The show ran during the 1972-73 season and featured the exploits of operatives of the World Securities Corp. Here’s an excerpt of the series description:

Hugh O’Brian, Doug McClure and Tony Franciosa rotate leads as elite high tech espionage operatives for Probe Division of World Securities Corporation in this spy-sensational SF-flavored actioner… Each agent, dubbed a “Probe”, is wired up for worldwide surveillance thanks to their Scanners (miniature video cams) and dental/ ear implants. Tracking their telemetry and giving real-time mission advice is the team of specialists gathered together at Probe Control under the direction of the brilliant, irascible V.C.R. Cameron (Burgess Meredith). O’Brian plays Lockwood, Probe One, ex-astronaut and lead agent, McClure plays CR Grover, Standby Probe, brilliant beachcomber goofball and Franciosa plays Nick Bianco, Omega Probe, street savvy ex-NYC cop tasked with organized crime capers.

The series was created by Leslie Stevens, who had created The Outer Limits. The pilot was a television movie called Probe, but either Warner Bros. (which made the series) or NBC decided Search was a more appealing name.

Members of the production team had previously worked on the original Star Trek series and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Robert H. Justman, who had been associate producer on Trek (and had worked on The Outer Limits as well) was producer of the first half of the series. Anthony Spinner, the fourth-season U.N.C.L.E. producer was initially the story editor and took over as producer.

The price is $49.95 and you can find more information on ordering by CLICKING HERE.

Tweaked U.N.C.L.E. insignia shows up on Twitter

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

Thanks to @laneyboggs2001 on Twitter for the heads up.

An image of a revamped U.N.C.L.E. insignia has SHOWN UP ON TWITTER in the form of a photo of a second unit crew T-shirt.

It’s very similar to the logo used in the 1964-68 series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But with the new insignia, the “Man” image has been revamped to more closely resemble Henry Cavill, who plays Napoleon Solo in the movie filmed last year. Robert Vaughn played the role in the ’60s series and a 1983 television movie.

The new logo’s Man wears a three-piece suit while the original Man was clad in a basic suit. Also, the gun the Man is holding appears to be slightly different than the original.

It’s not known if the crew T-shirt logo will actually be used to market the new movie. Warner Bros. hasn’t yet announced a release date for the Guy Ritchie-directed film.

Henry Cavill finishes work on U.N.C.L.E. movie

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer

Henry Cavill has wrapped up work as Napoleon Solo on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie and the fans who followed the movie the most closely got the word out on social media.

It began when Urban Food Fest, a U.K. food vendor for corporate events, today POSTED ON TWITTER photos of a party for the 30-year-old actor at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the home base for the $75 million production.

That was quickly picked up by (in alphabetical order) Henry Cavill News, Henry Cavill.org and @laneyboggs2001 on Twitter, all of whom have kept a close watch on developments of the U.N.C.L.E. movie. The photos spread quickly via social media.

Cavill will now get some time off before beginning work on a Superman-Batman project that starts filming in early 2014 for a summer 2015 release. Meanwhile, the Guy Ritchie-directed U.N.C.L.E. movie is expected to complete filming early next month, with Armie Hammer, playing Illya Kuryakin, still having some scenes to finish up.

UPDATE: Another PHOTO SHOWED UP VIA TWITTER of a studio visitor pass related to the Cavill party today.

UPDATE II (5 p.m.): The Urban Food Fest post on Twitter was later deleted.

UPDATE III (5:50 p.m.): Luca Calvani, who plays the movie’s villain, POSTED ON TWITTER in response to Henry Cavill.org that he has one more week of work. “We wrap the movie on Saturday.” Presumably, that means production ends on Dec. 7.

The UNCLE film began principal photography on Sept. 6, meaning the shoot will have lasted almost exactly three months. By comparison, the most recent James Bond film, Skyfall, had a seven month shoot (November 2011 to June 2012). The UNCLE movie has a reported $75 million budget, less than half of Skyfall’s $200 million.

U.N.C.L.E. and the crowded U.K. filming scene

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

The Los Angeles Times has A STORY TODAY about the booming U.K. movie industry. One of the people interviewed is Guy Ritchie, director of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie and an old hand at filming movies in England.

An excerpt from the end of the story:

Like others, English director Guy Ritchie, who has made two Sherlock Holmes movies for Warner Bros. in Britain and is now at work on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” is noticing his home turf getting more crowded. While shooting a car chase at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, which he had also used in his 2005 film, “Revolver,” and in “Sherlock Holmes,” Ritchie noted that the location has popped up in several other movies, including “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Skyfall” and “Les Miserables.”

“Maybe the novelty will wear off,” Ritchie said. “I quite like it, because I can go home at night. I don’t know who the chap is that got this going. Whoever he is, I’d like to take him out for a drink.”

The U.N.C.L.E. movie is based out of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. The site is a former factory converted into a movie studio for the production of 1995’s GoldenEye. Warner Bros. used Leavesden to film the Harry Potter movies. Warner Bros. bought the studio in 2010. Warners spent more than 100 million British pounds to rebuild and expand the studio, according to the official website for Leavesden tours.

The Los Angeles Times story by Rebecca Keegan provides details of how the movie boom came about, including tax incentives, the country’s ” tungsten northern light,” and work rules that appeal to studio bosses. The story also references a number of current and upcoming U.K.-based films. The list includes the next Star Wars film that will be shot at Pinewood Studios, the tradition home for James Bond films. To read the entire story, CLICK HERE.

Separately, the Henry Cavill News fan website PUBLISHED A POST of photos shot by a fan identified as marliimarl_ of an U.N.C.L.E. boat chase with stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer participating. The post includes a couple of videos that Henry Cavill News also uploaded to YouTube.

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