Can Steven Soderbergh’s version of ”The Man From U.N.C.L.E” convince me TV to film adaptations aren’t a total waste of time?
Any talk of another remake makes me sigh a little, but it is the big screen adaptations of TV shows that really make my heart sink. I’ve never really understood why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to take a premise that (in most cases) was stretched out in stand alone or loosely connected episodes over an undefined period of time and try to condense it into a two hour movie. At best, you get what looks like an expensive “very special episode.” At worst, you get, well, the “The Beverly Hillbillies” movie or the uneven to bad “A-Team” adaptation. Once in a while you luck out with something like “The Fugitive,” but that’s rare.
For years, it seems, there have been plans to make a film out of the 1960s Cold War spy TV series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” but it never got off the ground. I did not feel like this was a great loss to film history. David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”) was attached to direct, but is off that job now and may just produce. So who would direct? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Soderbergh is in talks to take the job.
You get the feeling that this is Soderbergh returning to his light action/comedy terror in the too cool for you early ’60s period of “Oceans 11″ (okay, his remake wasn’t set in the ’60s, but they were going for that feel). Does this mean that Clooney and Pitt, or Clooney and Damon (or any other combination of those three) can be far behind?
If you’re not familiar with the series (and I’m not), here’s a description from ComingSoon:
Robert Vaughn and David McCallum starred in the original NBC series as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, respectively. They were agents of United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), who fight the forces of Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity (T.H.R.U.S.H.).
The acronym heavy show ran from 1964-1968.
Though I think Soderbergh makes the project a little more interesting (Who knows? Maybe he will treat it as a serious exploration of the Cold War and the tragedies it wrought), the idea of a TV remake is still an instant turn off for me.