The potential reimagining of the classic TV spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for the big screen is a project that we’ve been hearing about for so long that it’s begun to feel like one of those doomed productions that’s never going to happen. Or maybe it even feels like it came out a year or so ago, and nobody we know saw it, so we’ve already forgotten about it completely. Neither is the case though. U.N.C.L.E. has not yet come out, and it does indeed seem to still be happening. It’s just had something of a troubled history.
The whole thing started out as a Steven Soderbergh film that was going to star George Clooney, then it became a Steven Soderbergh film that seemingly nobody wanted to star in, then that incarnation of the film came apart completely, then it became a Guy Ritchie film that was going to star Tom Cruise, and then Cruise dropped out as well. That’s about the time everybody kind of gave up on it. But Ritchie has kept working, quietly assembled the core of his cast, and now that he’s hired a promising up-and-comer to fill a supporting position, it’s looking like this is a project that’s actually got its ducks in a row and is getting ready to shoot.
The new story comes from Variety, who reports that U.N.C.L.E. has just added Elizabeth Debicki to its cast, reportedly in the role of a femme fatale of some sort. Most recently, Debicki was seen in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, where she played the supporting role of Jordan Baker, and was so adept at adjusting her performance to the hyper-reality of a Luhrmann film that she kind of stole the whole movie out from under all of the very high profile principals.
This time around she’ll be joining Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, who are playing U.N.C.L.E.’s principal secret agents, and Anna Karenina’s Alicia Vikander, who has been a hot commodity over the last few months and is reportedly playing the female lead. If Debicki is able to follow up her Gatsby performance by stealing the show again here, then one would imagine a part as a female lead will find its way to her sooner rather than later as well. Perhaps most importantly though, her addition is a good sign we might finally get to stop hearing about the casting process for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. soon.