M:I Rogue Nation cast to take questions on Twitter

The cast of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation on July 25 will be answering questions submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #AskMissionImpossible.

The fifth Mission: Impossible movie with star-producer Tom Cruise has been active using social media to promote the film. Director Christopher McQuarrie has used Twitter to provide update and answer questions.

Embedded below is the tweet from Parmount announcing the Q&As. The movie will be released July 31.

Our Ian Fleming U.N.C.L.E. primer

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming

Less than a month from now, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie will be in theaters. The point of this post is to keep everything concerning Ian Fleming’s connection to the original television series in perspective.

1962: There is interest in developing Ian Fleming’s non-fiction book Thrilling Cities into a television series. (For specific dates, as compiled by Craig Henderson’s For Your Eyes Only website, CLICK HERE.)

Late October 1962: Television producer Norman Felton meets with Ian Fleming in New York City. The duo eventually hash out some ideas for a television series.

Late May 1963: Fleming, under pressure from 007 film producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, sends a message on his 55th birthday that he intends to exit the television project.

June 1963: Fleming signs away his U.N.C.L.E. rights for 1 British pound.

November 1963: The pilot for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. begins filming. The script is written by Sam Rolfe (1924-1993).

1964: Broccoli and Saltzman try to stop U.N.C.L.E. from going into production. There’s a settlement where the lead character in U.N.C.L.E. keeps the name Napoleon Solo (a Fleming suggestion) For specific dates, check out Craig Henderson’s website by CLICKING HERE.

Sept. 22, 1964: The pilot episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. airs on NBC.

Nov. 26, 1965: NBC pre-empts The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to show the special The Incredible World of James Bond. Originally, Sean Connery was to be the narrator but pulls out at the last minute. Character actor Alexander Scourby takes over the narration duties. Many U.N.C.L.E. fans discover the world of 007 as a result.

Early forecast for M:I Rogue Nation: $40M opening weekend

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's teaser poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s teaser poster

Two weeks ahead of its July 31 debut, the early forecast for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is for opening weekend box office of $40 million in the U.S., according to A VARIETY STORY by Brent Lang.

“That’s less than the first three “Mission: Impossible” movies did in their initial weekends, though it does beat the $29.8 million debut that “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” generated in its wide release debut,” Lang wrote.

Ghost Protocol, released in 2011, was the most recent in the series with star-producer Tom Cruise and it “was remarkably resilient, not dropping by more than 50% weekend to weekend until six weeks after it hit theaters. It ended its run with nearly $210 million at the Stateside box office,” Lang wrote.

A $40 million opening weekend would be a bit better than other spy and spy-related movies earlier this year: Taken 3’s $39.2 million, Kingsman: The Secret Service’s $36.2 million and Spy’s $29.1 million.

The forecasts, also known as “tracking,” play a role in whether a movie is seen as financially successful. Actual box office receipts exceeding the forecasts usually cause a movie to be seen as a success. Falling short often generates bad publicity in the entertainment media.

The new M:I film has the Impossible Missions Force opposing “the Syndicate,” a mysterious group and the “Rogue Nation” of the title. The movie features Cruise, once again, doing a signature stunt, this time hanging on the side of an airplane.

Some U.N.C.L.E. soundtrack titles of note

Daniel Pemberton's Twitter icon

Daniel Pemberton’s Twitter icon

Film Score Reporter published details about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie’s soundtrack IN A JULY 14 POST. Included was a list of tracks that caught our eye.

The soundtrack, which is due out Aug. 7, a week before the movie, contains both Daniel Pemberton’s score and some vintage 1960s songs. The Spy Commander’s attention was drawn to some of the track titles from the composer’s work. What follows are those tracks, including where they appear on the album.

3. His Name Is Napoleon Solo: When Pemberton was recording the score last year, he tweeted a picture of the sheet music, including this title.

4. Escape From East Berlin: The guess here is part of this track appears on the five-minute trailer for the movie shown at the San Diego Comic Con.

6. Mission: Rome: Pemberton is a fan of Lalo Schifrin. This title suggests an homage to Schifrin’s best-known television theme, Mission: Impossible.

Schifrin also composed the scores for two episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. series as well as doing the second-season arrangement for Jerry Goldsmith’s U.N.C.L.E. theme.

7. The Vinciguerra Affair: This refers to the lead villain (Elizabeth Debicki). But it also appears to be an homage to the original 1964-68 series, where each episode’s title had “Affair” as part of the title.

13. Breaking Out (The Cowboy Escapes): It’s known from the trailers that Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) calls Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) “cowboy.” Presumably, this track title is referring to Solo.

The television series didn’t have a true soundtrack album while it was in production. Instead, Hugo Montenegro did new arrangements of music from the series in two albums. A true U.N.C.L.E. soundtrack didn’t occur until music journalist Jon Burlingame produced special edition soundtracks in the 2000s.

Now, if someone, ANYONE, can tell us if the Jerry Goldsmith U.N.C.L.E. theme appears in the movie (even if it’s just int he end titles), the Spy Commander would appreciate it.

About that M:I Rogue Nation air stunt…

An official video has been posted to YouTube about the signature air stunt in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.

This has been featured since the first teaser trailer. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) appears to be hanging on the side of an airplane, desperately trying to get in. The video posted today is a behind-the-scenes look at how it was filmed.

Cavill, Hammer describe Solo & Kuryakin’s background

Actors Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer provided a look at the backgrounds of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin during one of their many interviews at the San Diego Comic Con.

It was already known that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie coming out next month gave Solo a new back story of having been an art thief before joining the CIA. Here, Cavill provides additional details.

Meanwhile, Hammer tells new details about Kuryakin’s Russian background. It’s realistic (or at least semi-realistic) given the realities of the Soviet era.

Needless to say this is a spoiler. So if you want to find out, watch the video below. You won’t have to wait long for the details.

U.N.C.L.E. movie’s digital exposure soars during Comic Con

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie’s exposure on digital media surged more than 14 times during the four days of the San Diego Comic Con, according to a chart ACCOMPANYING A VARIETY STORY.

The story concerned information gathered by ListenFirst Media about what films and television shows got the most exposure during the comic book convention, which has become a major summer marketing exercise for studios.

The ListenFirst data includes “activity across a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Wikipedia, and YouTube,” according to Variety. The U.N.C.L.E. movie’s “digital audience ratings” (or DAR) went from 63,799 on July 5-8 (the four days before the convention) to 925,417 during July 9-12, a 1,350 percent jump, according to the ListenFirst data in the Variety chart. U.N.C.L.E. was No. 4 in DAR for films during the convention.

On Saturday, the movie’s stars — Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki — promoted the film during a convention panel. Warner Bros. also posted a new five-minute trailer online in connection with the convention. The trailer had received more than 800,000 viewings on YouTube by Monday afternoon.

To be sure, U.N.C.L.E. did not crack ListenFirst’s top ten for movies and television shows combined. The No. 1 in the combined category was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also a Warner Bros. release and also with Henry Cavill.

That movie’s DAR during the convention was 18.4 million, a whopping 4,185 percent increase over the four days before the con. Warners released its first regular trailer for the superhero movie, which comes out in March 2016. That trailer has received more than 20 million viewings on YouTube.

Also, in the movie category, U.N.C.L.E. was a distant No. 4. Besides the Batman v Superman ratings, the No. 2 film was Star Wars: The Force Awakens (6.55 million) and No. 3 was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (3 million).

Still, the digital ratings may be a sign that U.N.C.L.E. — last seen in the 1983 TV movie The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — may be making a comeback of sorts.

Warners originally scheduled the movie to open in mid-January, not a prime time for movie releases. But the studio shifted the film’s release date to Aug. 14 following test screenings in the summer of 2014.

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