Warner Bros' new spy project The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is expected to be the studios' answer to Paramount's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Universal's Bourne Legacy. WB is looking to hire equally talented rising stars to fill out the cast of UNCLE. Previously names like Ryan Gosling, Alexander Skarsgard and Joesph Gordon-Levitt had been on a studio wish-list. ThePlaylist adds other names to that list which include Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm, Russell Crowe and Robert Pattinson. Some of these names are interesting others underwhelming and uninspiring.
The site mentions that director Steven Soderbergh has met with Swedish/American actor Joel Kinnaman for the role of Russian spy Illya Kuryakin. Joel is a exceptional new actor giving intense performances in Snabba Cash and the series The Killing. He also recently landed a role in David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the upcoming Moscow set alien thriller The Darkest Hour. I think Joel is a great up and coming actor so it's possible he'd be willing to sign a multiple film contract. While some other actors might not want to commit to a budding franchise like UNCLE. Yet the studio is very keen on their own golden boy Ryan Gosling for Illya.
George Clooney dropped out of project which had him attached for the role of American spy Napoleon Solo. Matt Damon and Brad Pitt had been knocked around but it doesn't look it will work out. Steven has another actor in mind for Solo, that being German/Irish actor Michael Fassbender. Fassbender is gathering a lot of praise for his film's Shame and A Dangerous Method which might lead to an Oscar nomination and or win. He's also ranking up some serious badass credits with roles in Inglourious Basterds, 300, X-Men First Class, Ridley Scott's Prometheus and Soderbergh's Haywire. They also mention Joesph Gordon-Levitt is liked by the studio but might be too young. Ewan McGregor is another possibility since he worked with Steven on Haywire and was originally going to play Basher (Don Cheadle) in the Ocean films.
I'd be on board to see Fassbender and Kinnaman cast as the film's leads. I wouldn't be shocked to see other big names peppered in the other roles and it seems like Soderbergh isn't leaving the film industry anytime soon. He has mentioned previously he only had a couple more films in him before he would retire. Yet a franchise in the making like this could mean he might be invested for at least an UNCLE trilogy. The studio has been making comparisons to Lethal Weapon meaning we'll be seeing a large scale action buddy comedy. It might be wishful thinking they'd also go with an R-rating since all four of the Lethal films were.