UPDATE: IMDb says never mind about Nolan and Bond 25

Christopher Nolan

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): IMDb has now stripped out Syncopy from its list of companies involved with Bond 25.

ORIGINAL POST: The Internet Movie Database created a buzz the past 24 hours when it listed director Christopher Nolan’s Syncopy production company as being part of Bond 25.

Phil Nobile Jr., a writer for the Birth.Movies.Death website put out a tweet yesterday with a screen capture from the professional (paid subscription) part of IMDb.

He struck a sarcastic tone. “IMDbPro – because this is totally info worth paying for.”

Regardless, the buzz was reinforced this morning when @Bond25Film on Twitter said it received a confirmation from IMDb that the information was correct.

Nobile came out with a follow-up post.

“For the record, I bet this is not true. I also think that, if it’s true, this is a TERRIBLE idea,” Nobile wrote. Nolan’s stamp on Batman “is one of the most asexual in the business, and the world of James Bond is a sensual, sensuous one.”

Nolan’s name surfaced for a time as a possible director of SPECTRE before Sam Mendes returned to the 007 director’s chair.

Logo of Syncopy, Christopher Nolan’s production company

The thing about Nolan and Syncopy is you don’t just get a director. You get a group of associates, including Emma Thomas, Nolan’s wife who produces his films.

Eon Productions doesn’t normally do co-productions. Thunderball was an exception because Kevin McClory held the film rights and he became Eon’s partner for the one film.

Nolan also likes to write his own movies. Whatever progress has been made toward hashing out a Bond 25 story would likely be rewritten by Nolan if he were the director.

In January, there was a brief spell of Nolan fever among 007 fans. That took place after actor Tom Hardy (an acting regular in Nolan films) said he’d like to play James Bond with Nolan directing. As usual, we’ll see.

Here are a couple of the tweets from this morning if you want to look.

 

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FiveThirtyEight: Being 007 is bad for your career

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

What actor wouldn’t want to be James Bond? You’re paid well. There’s a worldwide audience awaiting your next film. You will be one of the most famous people on earth.

Well, according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog, it may not be good for your career.

FiveThirtyEight, formerly affiliated with The New York Times, helped popularize “data driven journalism,” where data, and not snark and supposition, drives stories.

FiveThirtyEight (named after the number of electors in the U.S. electoral college) was founded by Nate Silver, who gained notoriety for correctly forecasting results of the 2012 U.S. presidential election when the site was part of the Times. Silver later moved on, selling FiveThirtyEight to Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN.

Anyway, FiveThirtyEight is about more than politics and goes into entertainment news. As a result, the site’s Ben Lindbergh analyzed career trajectories of James Bond actors.

Here’s an excerpt:

While ur-Bond Sean Connery made the character an icon and, in the process, became iconic himself, the returns for the actors who’ve succeeded him — even excluding George Lazenby, who hadn’t acted in films before becoming Bond and who went one and done with “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” — have been more mixed. To determine the potential impact of playing Bond on an actor’s output, I analyzed the IMDb user ratings for each post-Lazenby Bond’s acting work from the five years before his first Bond film, the years during his reign, and the five years after he retired his tux, excluding uncredited roles, one-episode spots on TV shows, voice work and video games.

Lindbergh writes that those IMDB user ratings are higher for 007 actors during the five years before they became Bond compared with their 007 years or the five years following the role.

Lindbergh wrote: “Acting credits tend to dwindle after Bond, perhaps because financial security frees actors to take fewer roles; Bond-related fame and advancing age limit their other options; or celebrity, protracted productions and the need to recover from the beatings they take sidetrack their careers. (Or your alternative theory!)”

What spurred the post is speculation that Tom Hiddleston could be in the running to succeed Daniel Craig following the former’s appearance in the miniseries The Night Manager.

To read the entire post, CLICK HERE. It’s titled “Pray Your Favorite Actor Doesn’t Become James Bond.”

Film Music Reporter says an U.N.C.L.E. composer chosen

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

The Film Music Reporter website, in a short item, says Daniel Pemberton was hired to score The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie.

Pemberton, has a number of television composing credits and a few movies, according to his IMDB.COM ENTRY. One of his film credits is the 2013 Ridley Scott movie The Counselor.

The Film Music Reporter item doesn’t specify how the website obtained the information. Previously, IMDB had listed Theodore Shapiro as the movie’s composer, but that listing was removed.

If this is correct, the question is whether Pemberton will incorporate Jerry Goldsmith’s theme for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Goldsmith scored three first-season episodes, but his music was reused constantly in episodes that season that didn’t have original scores. Much of Goldsmith’s U.N.C.L.E. music was re-recorded in the fourth and final season and used in various episodes.

Thanks to laneyboggs2001@Twitter for a headsup.

UPDATE: A YouTube video featuring Pemberton.

UPDATE: U.N.C.L.E. composer? What U.N.C.L.E. composer?

"Don't rely on IMDB, son."

Robert Vaughn says, “Don’t rely on IMDB, son.” (Uncle Agents photo, used with permission)

As Maxwell Smart used to say, “Sorry about that, Chief!”

IMDB.com has altered its ENTRY FOR THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. MOVIE to remove Theodore Shapiro as composer. IMDB has gone back to not listing any composer at all.

As noted in this blog before, both IMDB and Wikipedia both listed Shapiro as composer for the film that’s due out in January 2015. (In fact, as of July 10, Wikipedia STILL DOES.) Both websites rely on users to input information and things occasionally go awry.

Anyway, it appears we’re back to Square One. Whoever gets the gig will be following in the footsteps of famed composer Jerry Goldsmith, who scored the pilot of the 1964-68 television series and wrote its distinctive theme.

Meanwhile, IMDB has, once again, added a name to the movie’s writing credit (Jeff Kleeman, one of its producers). The site for a time added another writer’s name, only to withdraw it later. So, for now, it’s best to say we’ll see what happens.

UPDATE: Does the U.N.C.L.E. movie have a composer?

Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo

Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo

Shoutout to @laneyboggs2001 on Twitter for the tip.

IMDB.com’s entry for THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. movie now lists Theodore Shapiro as composer. The website joins the online encyclopedia Wikipedia (both HERE and HERE) as listing Shapiro as doing the music.

The usual caveat: Both Wikipedia and IMDB rely on users to supply information. Editors try to police data for accuracy but errors can creep into both websites.

Shapiro, 42, has scored such films as To listen to samples of his work you can The Devil Wears Prada, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Marley & Me. You can CLICK HERE to watch a short 2009 video where Shapiro (pronounced sha-PIE-roe) discusses his work.

Assuming Shapiro is the man, the question is whether he’ll incorporate Jerry Goldsmith’s original theme for the original 1964-68 television series. There were five versions during the series (two in the first season, one each for the remaining three). Here’s four of them:

UPDATE: One more caveat. The name of writer Jeffrey Hatcher was added to the IMDB listing for the U.N.C.L.E. movie. It came off later. So, we’ll see if Shapiro does score the movie.

Who’s the (not so) new writer on the U.N.C.L.E. movie?

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt

U.N.C.L.E. logo on a second unit crew T-shirt


The IMDB.COM ENTRY for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lists a new name on the list of writers: Jeffrey Hatcher, a playwright with a list of a dozen television, video and movie credits.

It’s hard to consider him a “new” writer on the project given it completed production in December. Presumably, Hatcher performed his work before production commenced, but there’s simply no additional information. Also, given how entries in IMDB can change based on member input, it’s unclear the source of the information..

The official Sept. 3 Warner Bros. press release doesn’t mention Hatcher. It says the movie’s screenplay is by director Guy Ritchie and his producing partner Lionel Wigram.

It’s certainly possible the final writing credit will change before the final release because of Writer’s Guild rules. For example, it’s not known whether Sam Rolfe, who developed the original show, will get a credit the way, say, Bruce Geller, creator of Mission: Impossible, receives on M:I movies.

Hatcher’s list of IMDB credits begins with a 1998 Columbo made-for-television movie. His IMDB entry lists some of his plays.

Meanwhile, a (pretty breathless) video showed up on YouTube that provides a primer about the movie. Not a lot new, but given how the film won’t be out until January 2015, it’s presented here.

Some (very early) predictions about the U.N.C.L.E. movie

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin (Art by Paul Baack)

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as Solo and Kuryakin
(Art by Paul Baack)

Guy Ritchie’s movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is scheduled to start filming next month. While there’s a lot that isn’t known, here are a few predictions about the film that may emerge.

No dancing gorillas (or other third-season silliness from the original series): The movie probably will be similar in tone to the director’s two Sherlock Holmes movies.

Based on the early information available in the film’s IMDB.COM ENTRY, much of the crew worked on Ritchie’s two Holmes films. There will be some humor, but there will be much serious adventure also.

That wouldn’t be a bad thing. The original show’s FOURTH AND FINAL SEASON perhaps over-corrected the silly THIRD SEASON. Both seasons have good episodes but the drama-humor balance was out of whack compared with the first two seasons. The third season was like an U.N.C.L.E. version of the Adam West Batman series. The fourth seemed as if it were produced by Quinn Martin; the final season was produced by Anthony Spinner, a QM veteran.

U.N.C.L.E.’s wheelhouse lies somewhere inbetween those extremes. Whether Ritchie & Co. can achieve that remains to be seen. But the guess from here is that’s the goal. The two Ritchie-directed Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were in that same general area. The question is whether Ritchie can achieve that with U.N.C.L.E.

It won’t be exactly like the television show because it will be done as a period piece. The television series was a product of its time. It was a post-Cold War series (an American and a Russian working together to deal with the greater evil) taking place in the middle of the Cold War (producer Norman Felton and author Ian Fleming had their first meetings a few weeks after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962).

But when you do a story as a period piece, everything changes. The movies Murder, My Sweet (1942) and Farewell My Lovely (1975) are based on the same Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe novel. They’re both good, but the latter, starring Robert Mitchum, emphasizes its 1940s settings in ways the earlier Dick Powell film didn’t.

The movie’s success will depend on the chemistry of the lead actors: The original show was intended to center around Robert Vaughn’s Napoleon Solo. But David McCallum’s Illya Kuryakin made such an impression, the two emerged as equals. The Vaughn-McCallum pairing ensured that, in the fall of 1965, that The Wild, Wild West (with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin) and I Spy (with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby) had the same dynamic.

For the new U.N.C.L.E. movie to work, Henry Cavill (as Solo) and Armie Hammer (as Kuryakin) have to display at least similar chemistry. Cavill was a late casting as Solo after Tom Cruise exited the project.

Still, late castings can work. Jack Lord was cast as Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O just *five days* before the pilot to that 1968-80 series started production. Cavill got the U.N.C.L.E. job about three months ahead of production. Compared with Jack Lord and Five-O, that’s a breeze.