Hugh Grant has enlisted to star in Guy Ritchie’s new film, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2013). The film is an adaptation of the cult TV spy show that aired back in the 1960s. The series centered on a two-man troubleshooting team working for U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement).
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was co-written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram (the two worked previously on Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. John Davis is producing the film.
Grant joins a cast of younger stars including Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki. Cavill is taking the role of Napoleon Solo, with Hammer as his wingman Illya Kuryakin, the two original lead roles of the show. Grant will play the head of the British Navel Intelligence. As for the ladies, Vikander is slotted in an unknown female, with Debicki as a femme fatale.
Steven Soderbergh, who was originally attached to direct a film adaptation in 2012, had hoped for George Clooney to star as Napoleon Solo with production slated to begin in March 2012. Clooney was forced to withdraw due to a recurring back injury he suffered while filming Syriana. Many men including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, and Channing Tatum were considered for the lead role. Soderbergh later backed out of directing the project after believing he could not produce a quality film without exceeding the $60 million dollar budget set by the executives from Warner Brothers.
Guy Ritchie joined the project as director back in March of this year. Under Ritchie, Tom Cruise was originally in early talks for a part in the film as Napoleon Soto. On May 23, 2013 Tom Cruise left the film to work on Mission: Impossible 5.
Grant most recently appeared in Cloud Atlas, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, and voiced The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012). He’s represented by CAA and Underarm Services Ltd.
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