A few days ago, we brought the news that Ryan Gosling, Alexander Skarsgård, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were of interest to Warner Bros. when it comes to Steven Soderbergh‘s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. It seems as if the casting process has gone an extra step, with word now coming in on actors that might replace the departed George Clooney, as well as more contenders for the Russian spy Illya Kuryakin.
ThePlaylist managed to snag some details on who’s catching the attention of the studio and the director — and, boy, it’s a pretty wide-ranging list. (Granted, most of them are white men between 30 and 40, but they’re from all over the map.) One big name is Michael Fassbender, who recently worked with Soderbergh on the forthcoming Haywire; he’s in contention for the lead role of Napoleon Solo. Another actor from that film, Ewan McGregor, is also in the mix, but as Kuryakin — the same part the three previously mentioned thespians are being considered for. The Killing star Joel Kinnaman might have a leg up on Obi-Wan, since he and the director met at Comic-Con this year to discuss a starring part.
Some other, expected names include Ocean’s stars Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. However, not only may schedules get in the way, but those feel like options more than anything else. Similarly, Jude Law was listed; anyone actually think he’ll get the role? I don’t. Whoever they end up nabbing will have to make a dedication, as screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and Soderbergh have mapped out an entire trilogy here. He isn’t likely to direct (for reasons that you probably already know about), but there is a full intent for this to be the start of a new franchise. Shooting is set to begin on February 14th of next year, so an announcement should be coming soon.
None of the names here are terrible choices, but the only one who really stands out as a “great” pick is Fassbender, someone who can inhabit a franchise role with the same amount of skill he displays for an art house picture. (Just look at his genuinely excellent work in X-Men: First Class.) Then again — I want him to be in everything, so there’s a bias on my part.
Do any of these actors sound like good choices to lead The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?
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