A few questions about the U.N.C.L.E. movie

"Illya, I hope there are more people in the theater when the U.N.C.L.E. movie comes out next year."

“Illya, I hope there are more people in the theater when the U.N.C.L.E. movie comes out next year.”

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie has a release date, Jan. 16, 2015. But, naturally, that just means more questions to deal with.

Is this good news? Not for those who wanted the movie out around the time of its 50th anniversary in September 2015 2014. And it raises questions how much Warner Bros. believes in the project.

Typically, a studio puts its big guns either during the summer season (defined as the start of May through the Labor Day weekend) or Thanksgiving-Christmas (defined as early November through the end of the year).

January is often used for movies that didn’t make the cut for the Thanksgiving-Christmas period. Last month, for example, Paramount released Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which had been a contended for Thanksgiving-Christmas. The movie limped in at No. 4 in its opening weekend of Jan. 17-19, with U.S. ticket sales of not quite $15.5 million.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ended up with worldwide box office of $123 million, with almost $75 million of that from international markets. The movie had an estimated budget of $60 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The U.N.C.L.E. movie had an estimated budget of $75 million, according to Variety.

Any news on a composer for the movie? Nope. But given the release date, one can’t help but wonder if this opens the door for Hans Zimmer.

Previously, Zimmer — who scored director Guy Ritchie’s two Sherlock Holmes movies — said scoring the Christopher Nolan Interstellar movie might prevent him taking the U.N.C.L.E. assignment. But U.N.C.L.E. won’t come out until more than two months after Interstellar. Perhaps Zimmer becomes an option again.

2015 will see both an U.N.C.L.E. movie and a James Bond movie (the as-yet untitled Bond 24). Has that ever happened?

Sort of. In the 1960s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released U.N.C.L.E. movies primarily for international audiences. They consisted of re-edited from television episodes ith additional footage for the movie versions.

The last year with a new Bond and U.N.C.L.E. *theatrically* movie was 1967, with You Only Live Twice and The Karate Killers, the sixth U.N.C.L.E. film. The former was a big hit (though not as big as 1965’s Thunderball) and the latter wasn’t as U.N.C.L.E. fervor was abating. The last two U.N.C.L.E. movies came out in 1968. (1983’s The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a TV movie that aired on CBS the same year Octopussy and Never Say Never Again hit theaters.)

5 Responses

  1. The most important question of all: will the movie be worth the price of a ticket?

  2. I don’t think it’s really fair any longer to read any lack of studio confidence into a January release date. Taken changed the landscape completely in 2008, and now January/February is considered a totally viable release frame for action movies. It’s true that they don’t all do well then, as Jack Ryan showed, but that’s ultimately on the quality of the movie and (perhaps even more) on the quality of the campaign, not audiences willingness to see movies that time of year. The astonishing success of Ride Along over MLK weekend this year proves there’s definitely an audience! Which makes me wonder why WB would slot UNCLE up against yet another Kevin Hart movie in that same weekend next year. Also why they’d go against another spy movie, in Michael Mann’s untitled Chris Hemsworth project. Someone’s going to back away from this date, and I have a feeling it could be UNCLE crying uncle. But if they move, where do they go? Back up to that late 2014 frame, which is also very crowded, or further back into 2015, which quickly starts to become VERY crowded indeed? I fear there’s a lot more chance of an unproven brand (unproven in the last 40 years anyway) getting lost in the glut of 2015 among ALL those heavy-hitters like Bond, Star Wars, Marvel’s Avengers, etc. Also, I just REALLY wanted to see MFU this year!!!

  3. Just a quick correction, The 50th anniversary of U.N.C.L.E. would be September 2014, not 2015.

  4. @Ralph. So it is. Post corrected.

  5. my question is. has the public been awhere of the 50th anniversary
    of ‘the man from u.n.c.l.e.’ s place in tv series history ?

    however I remember ‘the return of the man from u.n.c.l,e ‘ tv movie
    (1983) which seriously in my opinion wasn’t very good.
    it was much too campy. and having George lazenby making a
    guest appearance as a unknown spy made it worse.

    if c b s network decide’s to follow-up a campaign in promoting
    the new film they better start showing the old u.n.c.l.e episode’s
    from now.

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