Warner Bros. has confirmed the release date of the big screen adaptation of the 1960s spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for January 16, 2015. Looks like they are trying to take advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend in the hopes of providing the first spark of 2015. Guy Ritchie directs the retro Cold War-ear espionage tale starring Henry Cavill as CIA agent Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as KGB operative Illya Kuryakin. The film follows the two agents as they must work together to defeat a Big Bad.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. may provide more than a launching for next year slate of films. Cavill, in his first major role since last summer’s Man of Steel, grabbed the lead in the feature after Tom Cruise departed the film. This will mark the first instance to see if he can carry a movie outside the realm of the prepackaged comic book universe. He will follow the film with the breathlessly anticipated sequel that will feature a famous caped crusader.
Moreover, the film provides a hopefully redemptive spike for Hammer’s career – his last film, The Lone Ranger, was the loudest causality of the 2013 summer movie season; however, this nostalgia-drenched spy capper might fit a little bit better for young actor who broke through as the twin brawny intellectuals in David Fincher’s The Social Network. Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Jared Harris (Lincoln), Elizabeth Debick (The Great Gatsby) and Hugh Grant co-star.
The scheduling for next Martin Luther King’s weekend is already pretty crowded as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will be pitted against Fox’s Frankenstein starring James McAvoy and Jessica Brown Findlay (Winter’s Tale), Michael Mann’s untitled cyber thriller with Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis from Universal, and Sony’s The Wedding Ringer starring Kevin Hart. Curiously, Hart captured the gold on the same holiday weekend this year with the unexpected success of Ride Along, which bested (among other things) the revamped spy thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Hopefully someone at Warner Bros. is aware of that.