U.N.C.L.E. movie premieres; now comes the big test

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

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

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie had a premiere in New York on Monday night.

Now comes the hard part — how will the movie do when its opens later this week?

The day started out with the movie’s stars, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, making a live appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America show (preceded by a Warner Bros. spot for the film).

The appearance itself was what you’d expect of the light approach Good Morning America takes on entertainment topics. “You better watch out, James Bond, because there are some new agents in town!” GMA co-host Robin Roberts said.

The interview covered similar topics referenced in previous interviews about the movie, including how Hammer watched YouTube videos of Russian speakers to perfect his own Russian accent and how Cavill’s bulk changes because he plays Superman.

Later, there were photos a plenty on social media on social media of the premiere itself, both from Warner Bros. and fans. One example:

Meanwhile, Lee Pfeiffer, the publisher of Cinema Retro, published a number of photos on Facebook, SUCH AS THESE. The Henry Cavill News website PUBLISHED EVEN MORE.

The test that now comes is whether a series that last aired when Lyndon B. Johnson was president (with one attempted revival during the first term of Ronald Reagan) can resonate with the 21st century public. The answer to that question will come in a few days.

Empire magazine previews U.N.C.L.E. movie

Logo for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie

Logo for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie

Empire magazine’s July issue has a preview and new stills from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie.

Empire itself hasn’t put the content online. However, sites including COMIC BOOK MOVIE, HENRY CAVILL NEWS and HENRY CAVILL.ORG have run scans of the stills from the magazine.

A few tidbits in the Empire story via a summary in Henry Cavill News:

–The name Thrush isn’t being used for the criminal organization opposed by Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in the Guy Ritchie-directed film. Empire quotes co-writer Lionel Wigram as saying, “I don’t think you can say that with a straight face these days.” Instead, it’ll be a network of ex-Nazis.

–Henry Cavill comments to Empire about his Solo versus how Tom Cruise would have played the part. “Tom would clearly have been playing a very different character to mine, albeit of the same name,” Cavill told Empire. “It’s not that I was replacing Tom Cruise; it’s that the dynamic of the story changed and I happened to fit that better.”

Cruise was in talks in early 2013 to play Solo. He exited the project to star and produce Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. Cavill, who lost out for the role of James Bond in 2005 to Daniel Craig, was signed as a replacement.

–Cavill wasn’t cast as Illya Kuryakin because director Ritchie thought if the actor colored his hair blonde would look too much like Javier Bardem’s Silva villain in Skyfall. Armie Hammer go the role instead.

If you click on the links there are plot details.

Cavill says U.N.C.L.E. role ‘different’

Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill

Actor Henry Cavill, in an interview with the B2B GIBRALTAR WEBSITE said Napoleon Solo is “a bit different to my other roles.”

The 31-year-old actor didn’t elaborate. Here’s pretty much the entire mention of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie in the Jan. 16 article on the Gibraltar business website:

Henry’s next box office blockbuster will see him take on the big-screen reboot of hit TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in another iconic role, this time recreating the character of Napoleon Solo made famous by Robert Vaughn. “It is very exciting and it is going to be a great movie, a bit different to my other roles there is even a comedic element to it,” Henry said. “We have already finished filming and it’s due to be released in August 2015.”

The interview was conducted in October when Cavill was at Gibraltar for a fundraiser run on behalf of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. At the time, Cavill was still filming Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice. Most of the interview concerns his Superman role.

Cavill has previously said there’s a comedic element to the story. The actor has also said he didn’t watch the original 1964-68 television series. He had avoided watching other actors play Superman prior to 2013’s Man of Steel film.

Shoutout to the Henry Cavill News site, which Tweeted about the Gibraltar interview.

New U.N.C.L.E. movie image emerges

Total Film in its February has a short article about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie as part of a 2015 movie preview. It includes a still of Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

Total Film doesn’t have the image ON ITS WEBSITE. However, @LaneyBoggs2001 on Twitter did a scan.

The HENRY CAVILL NEWS and COMIC BOOK MOVIE sites did posts featuring the image

Henry Cavill News interviews U.N.C.L.E. film actor

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo

The Henry Cavill News site today PUBLISHED AN INTERVIEW with actor-musician Rob Jones, who plays, in his words, “one of the employed baddies” in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie.

Jones is among the actors still working on the movie this week, the last of principal photography. Henry Cavill wrapped up his work as Napoleon Solo last week. The Guy Ritchie-directed film is being done as a 1960s period piece.

In the interview, Jones was careful with his words, trying not to give away much. The fan website asked Jones for his opinion of Cavill’s performance as Solo. The answer: “I think despite the era the film is set in, he will modernise Solo while maintaining the roots. He was great in The Tudors and awesome in Superman. I’ve no fear, especially after witnessing one of the bigger action scenes of MFU, that he’s adaptable to anything!”

The movie has a reported budget of $75 million, considerably lower than films such as Skyfall or Man of Steel, where Cavill played Superman. Jones said the movie has “big BIG sets! They’re not holding back on size here!”

To read the complete interview, CLICK HERE.

Entertainment Weekly describes an U.N.C.L.E. scene

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo photo that appeared on the HenryCavillfan.org site

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo photo that appeared on the HenryCavillfan.org site

For those who don’t want to know anything about the movie, leave now. A mild, vague spoiler awaits.

Entertainment Weekly, in its Nov. 29 issue, describes a scene from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie. It’s part of a broader story about the crowded U.K. filming scene, where tax breaks have fueled a boom in productions by U.S.-headquartered studios.

The story isn’t online at the publication’s website. However, the Henry Cavill News fan site HAS A POST with images of the article by writer Clark Hollis called The Joy of Sets.

In one passage, Hollis describes watching an U.N.C.L.E. movie scene being filmed. Referring to Guy Ritchie, Hollis writes:

The director decided to double down on the damp, ordering up a rain machine and having (Luca) Calvani’s character savagely attack (Henry) Cavill’s hero in the midst of what will look to audiences like a sudden Italian summer downpour. And I do mean savagely. You know you’re on a Guy Ritchie set when you hear the directorial instruction. “Let’s have him kick him in the bollocks!”

The article also has a drawing recreating the scene described, involving Cavill’s Napoleon Solo and Calvani’s Alexander. There are also comments about why the U.K. is a nice place to make a movie from Armie Hammer, who plays Illya Kuryakin. Entertainment Weekly lists movies currently in production in the U.K. It doesn’t provide a release date for the U.N.C.L.E. film.

To view the Henry Cavill News post, CLICK HERE. Entertainment Weekly’s Facebook page has A PHOTO of the Nov. 29 cover (the U.K. movie story is not the cover story).

U.N.C.L.E. and the crowded U.K. filming scene

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

The Los Angeles Times has A STORY TODAY about the booming U.K. movie industry. One of the people interviewed is Guy Ritchie, director of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie and an old hand at filming movies in England.

An excerpt from the end of the story:

Like others, English director Guy Ritchie, who has made two Sherlock Holmes movies for Warner Bros. in Britain and is now at work on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” is noticing his home turf getting more crowded. While shooting a car chase at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, which he had also used in his 2005 film, “Revolver,” and in “Sherlock Holmes,” Ritchie noted that the location has popped up in several other movies, including “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Skyfall” and “Les Miserables.”

“Maybe the novelty will wear off,” Ritchie said. “I quite like it, because I can go home at night. I don’t know who the chap is that got this going. Whoever he is, I’d like to take him out for a drink.”

The U.N.C.L.E. movie is based out of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. The site is a former factory converted into a movie studio for the production of 1995’s GoldenEye. Warner Bros. used Leavesden to film the Harry Potter movies. Warner Bros. bought the studio in 2010. Warners spent more than 100 million British pounds to rebuild and expand the studio, according to the official website for Leavesden tours.

The Los Angeles Times story by Rebecca Keegan provides details of how the movie boom came about, including tax incentives, the country’s ” tungsten northern light,” and work rules that appeal to studio bosses. The story also references a number of current and upcoming U.K.-based films. The list includes the next Star Wars film that will be shot at Pinewood Studios, the tradition home for James Bond films. To read the entire story, CLICK HERE.

Separately, the Henry Cavill News fan website PUBLISHED A POST of photos shot by a fan identified as marliimarl_ of an U.N.C.L.E. boat chase with stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer participating. The post includes a couple of videos that Henry Cavill News also uploaded to YouTube.

U.N.C.L.E. movie resumes filming after big U.K. storm

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer

Despite a major storm that affected southern England, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie resumed filming on Oct. 28, according to a post on the HENRY CAVILL NEWS fan website.

The production is using the U.K. as a stand-in for East Germany. The sequence being shot involves a car chase with early 1960s era cars. CLICK HERE and you can see a series of photos on the Henry Cavill News site.

Production of the movie has been underway for a little more than seven weeks and is probably past the halfway mark.

Henry Cavill, who plays Napoleon Solo, the role originated by Robert Vaughn in the 1964-68 series, needs to begin filming on the Superman-Batman film sometime in early 2014. That movie is a sequel to this year’s Man of Steel film with Cavill as Superman. The U.N.C.L.E. movie also stars Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, who was played by David McCallum in the series.

There are still some major questions about the U.N.C.L.E. project, which is being directed by Guy Ritchie. Warner Bros. hasn’t publicly disclosed if it has a release date. Also unknown is when the first teaser trailer might come out. If a composer has been hired, Warner Bros. is keeping it a secret.

U.N.C.L.E. movie films at a Skyfall location

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

The Henry Cavill News fan website SNIFFED OUT how The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie did some filming at a Skyfall location in the U.K.: Hankley Common, which substituted for Scotland in the 2012 007 film.

As it turns out, the website came across Tweets from area residents such as THIS ONE about the U.N.C.L.E. filming. Besides the one the website cited, there’s THIS ONE from Oct. 18 and THIS ONE from Oct. 23 after filming in the area ended.

In early 2012, a blogger took and posted pictures at Hankley Common during Skyfall’s production. The area was used to film what was supposed to Bond’s ancestral home and the title of the movie. The photos included what were supposed to be the tombstones of Bond’s parents.

There are no details available how Hankley Common will come into play for the U.N.C.L.E. movie starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer and directed by Guy Ritchie. Meanwhile, Henry Cavill News had an OCT. 24 POST of another U.K. location that may be doubling for Berlin.

No April Dancer in the U.N.C.L.E. movie

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

(Shoutout to @laneyboggs2001, Henry Cavill News and HenryCavill.org, who Tweeted and blogged all day on Oct. 10.)

Well, you can’t win them all.

On OCTOBER 3 this blog posed the question whether Alicia Vikander was playing April Dancer in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie that has wrapped filming in Rome and is headed back to the U.K.

April was the lead character in the spinoff series The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. and was a name devised by Ian Fleming (originally as a Miss Moneypenny type character for The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) The answer looks to be no. During filming in Italy, the actors had chairs with the names of their characters on it.

For the finale of Rome shooting, a picture showed up in a picture on the Henry Cavill News fan Web site. If you CLICK HERE and scroll down, you’ll see a photo of some of the chairs.

One of the chairs appears to be for Vikander. The character name on the chair isn’t April Dancer. Vikander plays a character who is an MI6 agent who gets involved in the story. Unless the production is being exceptionally sneaky, the April Dancer theory now bites the dust.

Next week, the movie is scheduled to be in the U.K. to film a scene involving GRAND PRIX RACING. The production has solicited owners of 1960s vintage cars to participate.

Finally, here’s a video of the last night of filming in Rome. You can see Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Vikander as well as director Guy Ritchie. Amusingly, Cavill, who plays Napoleon Solo, is wearing a 1960s-style suit but takes out a 21st century digital camera or smartphone to take some pictures while waiting to film a scene.

The music on the video is Hugo Montenegro’s version of Jerry Goldsmith’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme that first appeared on a 1965 album.