The U.N.C.L.E. movie: Easter eggs? What Easter eggs?

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer (Art by Paul Baack)

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer
(Art by Paul Baack)

We have no idea how The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie will turn out. But we know this much: Don’t expect a movie version of the original 1964-68 television series.

Movie makers want to put their own spin on things. It happened with the 1999 Wild Wild West movie. It happened with the 1993 The Fugitive movie. It happens with the Mission: Impossible movies that began in 1996 (which made Jim Phelps a villain before killing him off) and whose fifth installment is in production.

The U.N.C.L.E. movie has thrown a few bones out. Or, to use a popular term, “Easter eggs” — little items for hard-core fans. The name of the film’s villain is the same as a villain in the television series. But that’s superficial. They’re different characters. The clapperboards of the movie used the same font as the main titles of the television show. But, when push comes to shove, Warner Bros. during test screenings of the movie, made sure than older fans wouldn’t be admitted to those showings.

At this point, there’s no way to know whether the Jerry Goldsmith theme music for the series will even be used in Daniel Pemberton’s score. Then again, Wild Wild West in 1999 included Richard Markowitz’s theme from the 1965-69 television series (though not in the film’s main titles). That didn’t make the movie — which many fans thought too goofy — any more like the show.

All of this doesn’t mean the movie, due for release in August 2015, won’t be good. It may be. But there’s enough circumstantial evidence to suggest it will be a completely different take than that of executive producer Norman Felton and developer-producer Sam Rolfe as well as stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. Henry Cavill, who plays Napoleon Solo, the role that Vaughn made famous, has already said he never saw an episode.

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3 Responses

  1. I would think that it needs to be the same as the series only in the broader aspects of it. So many other details are irrelevant. Movies require a more epic feel to them than a TV series. I’m not at this point concerned about these differences. I just don’t want it campy or some send-up of the old show. I want the movie to take the shows shortcomings, which is the result of typically stinted budgets, and address them, and add something more exciting to it.

  2. well said alric. we realize that some changes has to be made. when it comes to movie versions taken from popular tv classic. but when you make drastic changes. you can actually hurt a fan base cult. that are loyal to the original. take for example. the first installment movie for mission impossible. starring tom cruise. good action movie. but bad idea to turn an iconic character like jim phelps into a villain. I don’t think I will ever forgive paramount studios for doing that. however I hope the new u.n.c.l.e movie doesn’t make such big changes.

  3. Making Illya Kuryakin an actual Communist follows what fanfic writers have been doing for years. He wasn’t ‘just’ Russian as he had to be labeled in an American TV series of the 1960s. And he wasn’t a defector because that would negate the whole concept of a global security agency.

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