Handicapping Bond 23, other spy movie projects

There are so many potential movie projects going on right now, it’s hard to keep track of them all — not only the number of potentials but the various roadblocks that may prevent them from becoming reality.

So, here’s a tentative look at the projects for various spies, including James Bond, the Impossible Missions Force, the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement and others:

Mission: Impossible 4: At one point, star Tom Cruise and studio Paramount Pictures had a falling out. Now, things have been supposedly patched up. J.J. Abrams was supposed to come back to direct, but then he wasn’t. In recent news, Brad Bird of The Incredibles supposedly was in final negotiations to direct M:I 4.

There has been one consistent point in various reports. Paramount reportedly wants the movie out in time for Memorial Day 2011. Also Paramount is on sound financial footing, at least compared to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 007’s home studio. ODDS: 2-1.

Bond 23: Daniel Craig is seen as reinvigorating the 007 franchise so you’d think a third movie featuring Craig as Bond would be a natural. Ah, but, MGM, which controls half the franchise, is in financial trouble. Eon Productions apparently has Sam Mendes onboard as director. But Eon isn’t going to finance any movie and the production company, at least for now, is held hostage by MGM’s wheeling and dealing. ODDS: 4-1.

UPDATED: With the announcement that Eon has suspended development of Bond 23 because of uncertainty related to MGM, we have to revise this outlook.


New (serious) Matt Helm movie: This has been kicking around for awhile. Steven Spielberg reportedly was interested in directing, then he wasn’t. It’s a great idea, but there hasn’t a Matt Helm novel published since 1993 and his creator, Donald Hamilton, died in 2006, with an unpublished final novel on the shelf. We’ll believe it when we see it. ODDS: 10-1.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Movie: There have been a ton of attempts to revive the 1960s television show that paired an American (Napoleon Solo, played by Robert Vaughn) and a Russian (Illya Kuryakin, played by David McCallum) as part of a multi-national security organization. This week word of another surfaced in The Hollywood Reporter and entertainment Web sites. We posted about this yesterday but it escaped our notice that the director mentioned with this project is David Dobkin, who directed the 2005 comedy “Wedding Crashers.”

As Peter Parker used to say, “My Spider Sense is tingling!” ODDS: 100-1.

9 Responses

  1. You got it half right, Napoleon Solo played by Robert Vaughn, but the character portrayed by David McCallum was named, Illya Kuryakin. 🙂 Kuryakin was a Russian character, but McCallum is from the UK and at present plays the M.E. Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the hit series, NCIS.

    With the director and writers selected for the remake, 100:1 is about right. It’s a shame really, as properly done, as was the Star Trek remake, it could be a hit. I posted my thoughts at AICN on the subject. I’d hope for a director who truly wants to do this project, and who has established ability. I wish JJ Abrams wanted to do it. Another name that popped into my head after thinking about it for a while, was Zack Snyder.

    I’d love it if someone would explain to me, why a studio would hold on to a project, fighting to get it made, and then hand it to someone who will be incapable of bringing it to fruition, and it be profitable.

  2. Quite right, re: Illya Kuryakin as played by David McCallum. We’ve corrected.

  3. Illya Kuryakin as played by David McCallum. We’ve corrected

  4. […] posters, kids!Jeremy Kareken on Bond 23 “delayed indefinitely”Full Movies on Handicapping Bond 23, other spy movie projectsKevin Collette on Our (modest) proposal for a Man From U.N.C.L.E. movieOur (modest) proposal […]

  5. Greate article. I like it.

  6. […] we’re on record as being skeptical of a Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie becoming reality. But if the LAT is on to something, we may have to […]

  7. […] HMSS revised handicapping of spy movie projects Posted on July 3, 2010 by The HMSS Editors Back in mid-April, we did some handicapping on some spy movie projects in various stages of development. […]

  8. the man from UNCLE is being made and I know who is directing it… its going to be great…

  9. BTW it’s not David Dobkin… FAR FAR better for this sort of film IMO… anyway… enjoy trying figure it out lads…

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