The Man From U.N.C.L.E. curse strikes again

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) teaser poster

Years ago, the blog discussed The Man From U.N.C.L.E. curse — a series of mostly unrelated events with one thing in common. Namely, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

There were genuine tragedies. Sam Rolfe, who developed the original show, died of a heart attack while trying to come up with a new made-for-cable-TV version in the 1990s. More of the “curse” involved promising new versions that would never see the light of day.

The “curse” has reared up its ugly head with the two stars of the 2015 movie, the most recent (and perhaps final) version of U.N.C.L.E.

The biggest impact is being felt by Armie Hammer, who played Illya Kuryakin in the 2015 movie.

To put it simply, Hammer’s career is in freefall. Here’s an excerpt of a Variety story via the Chicago Tribune.

The new year kicked off with what will likely be the most bizarre celebrity story of 2021: Armie Hammer — the genetically blessed movie star of “Call Me by Your Name” and “The Social Network” fame, and heir to the Hammer family oil fortune — began trending online for being a cannibal.

Hammer is not a cannibal.

What, what? It’s a long story. And it’s not really worth telling in detail here. The problem is Hammer has been dropped by his talent agency and his publicist because of isues with his personal life. Also, he hasn’t had many hits. So, suddenly, he’s seen as radioactive. He has dropped out of projects and his future is in doubt.

Also facing future questions is Henry Cavill, who played Napoleon Solo in the 2015 film.

In the early 2010s, Cavill was cast as Superman. His solo Superman film, Man of Steel, came out in 2013. It was supposed to be the first step in creating a film universe based on DC Comics characters, similar to the Marvel Cinematic University.

Unfortunately for Cavill, he only got the one solo movie. He appeared in Batman v Superman (2016) and Justice League (2017), but took a back seat to Ben Affleck’s Batman

At one point, had U.N.C.L.E. been a box office success, he could have been part of two film franchises. But U.N.C.L.E. was a disappointment and Warner Bros. clearly isn’t hurrying to bring out any new Cavill versions of Superman. His last hurrah may be a Zack Snyder-cut of Justice League due to come out on the HBO Max streaming service.

When Cavill began his Superman career, he was the young and up-and-comer. Now he’s pushing 40 (he’ll turn 38 in May) with an uncertain future.

Oh, well. At least, Cavill has the streaming show The Witcher streaming series to fall back on.

3 Responses

  1. I just don’t get it. I thought the Man from UNCLE was a fairly entertaining movie and was looking forward to sequels.

  2. What we knew in 2015 has always rung true! If any cannibalism has taken place, it’s the eating alive of an original, unique and successful TV series. But never offering anything in return. In the day, the MFU 3.5 year run wasn’t a bad showing, given the cutthroat competition among only 3 Networks! When will producers & financers accept responsibility that pretty faces, sleek couture, and a saturation of action sequences, does not a movie make! Particularly a self-described revamping of an original concept. Unfortunately the penalty is that the title of the (Man from UNCLE) is now labeled as a failure. Rather than attributing the defects to the ill-gotten movie itself. This isn’t a curse (which implies inexplicable causations) but the irresponsibility (inconveniences) of actors and the ill-conceived efforts of not honoring the original premise. Meaning that while pointing to a curse is intriguing copy, only feeds the pot of negativity and further justification for discontinuation. If the movie was a failure, then it’s only because it couldn’t capture the spirit of the original. I’ve always thought how much effort and care has gone into preserving the legacy of James Bond, while another kind of effort turned into cheap imitation, which does a serious disservice to the originators (creators, talent and fans.

  3. This is interesting about Cavill and Harmer’s careers.

    The idea, though, of a curse is silly. David McCallum’s career has been going for almost seventy years and he’s in one of the biggest shows on television (worth seeing, by the way, are his 1950s British films, namely ‘The Secret Place’, ‘Robbery Under Arms’, and ‘Hell Drivers’, the latter of which also stars Sean Connery and Patrick McGoohan – three future spies for the price of one!).

    Robert Vaughan also had a resurgence in the ’00s with ‘Hustle’ (one of my favourite TV series ever!).

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