Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Warners Spies In On "The Man Ftrom U.N.C.L.E."

May 7, 2006

Waiting to gauge the audience reaction to the 'grittier' take on Brit spy 'James Bond' in director Martin Campbell's upcoming Sony feature "Casino Royale", Warner Bros Pictures will continue developing their big screen version of covert thriller "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".

Created in 1964, the original TV series starred actors Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as US agents 'Napoleon Solo' and 'Ilya Kuryakin', shadowy operatives for the 'United Network Command for Law & Enforcement'.

The new film is expected to be a character-driven drama focusing on Solo and Kurayakin, pitted against international crime organization 'THRUSH', but without the explosive CG of "M:I:III" and previous '007' adventures, already spoofed in "Austin Powers: Goldmember".

The history of the property began in 1962, when Arena Productions TV producer Norman Felton approached author Ian "James Bond" Fleming with a concept for a spy-based TV series. Fleming wrote up an outline, introducing 'Napoleon Solo' and his secretary 'April Dancer' (later reincarnated in her own series "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.".

But the producers holding rights to the 'James Bond' film franchise, noted a similarity to their property and Fleming was forced to drop out of the project. Felton brought in vet TV writer Sam Rolfe who developed Fleming's Solo character and his Russian partner Kuryakin.

The B&W pilot episode "The Vulcan Affair" debuted on NBC, September 22, 1964. David McDaniel, writer of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." novel "The Dagger Affair" defined the acronym 'T.H.R.U.S.H.' as ''Technological Hierarchy for Removal of Undesirables and Subjugation of Humanity' ...