Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Casting U.N.C.L.E.

Now that George Clooney has had to back out of Steven Soderbergh's 1960s-set Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie for health reasons, the role of Napoleon Solo is wide open. There was concern among fans that Clooney, 50, was too old to play Solo (the original Solo, Robert Vaughn, was 50 when he appeared in the 1983 reunion movie, The Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as a retired agent!) anyway, so the studio now has the option of casting a younger - and less expensive - actor in the role (which would certainly make potential sequels more viable, as well).

Not that anyone cares what I think, but here are my choices for Solo and his Russian colleague, Illya Kuryakin: Topher Grace, age 34, as Napoleon Solo, and Alex Pettyfer, age 21, as Illya.

Grace has yet to really find a star-making film role, and I think his charm, sense of humor and looks would well-suit the part of U.N.C.L.E.'s top Enforcement agent. He's even worked with Soderbergh before in Traffic and the Ocean's 11 movies

Pettyfer was great in the under-seen Alex Rider teen spy movie, Operation: Stormbreaker, and has a quiet, thoughtful charisma reminiscent of the original Illya, fellow Brit David McCallum. And the blond hair, of course. He's a little young, but Illya could easily be portrayed as a rookie agent paired with the more experienced Solo.

Anyway, those are my choices. As for Waverly - Ian McKellen of course!

9 comments:

BISH said...

I like the choice of Pettyfer, but I'm not sold on Topher Grace...How anout Jim Caziel instead?

Christopher Mills said...

I find James Caviezel to be entirely without charisma, charm or talent. He's a block of wood with cookie-cutter, TV soap opera "good looks."

Grace is an extremely talented guy who hasn't yet had the chance to show it on the big screen.

But hey, everyone's entitled to their own fantasy casting!

Kevin Findley said...

I never would have thought of Grace, but looking at the side to side pictures; not a bad idea! Bulk him up a little and put him under Vaughn's haircut; I can see it.

Christopher Mills said...

Oh yeah, Topher would definitely need to hit the gym - but Napoleon Solo shouldn't be a musclebound brute. Vaughn wasn't a particularly big guy. Most important is wit, urbane charm, and an ever-so-slightly smarmy way with women. :)

Janus said...

I think David McCallum would be perfect for Waverly -- assuming, of course, that something could be worked out with the producers of NCIS. Of course, he would only be needed for a few scenes, so scheduling McCallum wouldn't be too much of a logistical problem.

Even if he weren't cast as Waverly, I would still like to see cameo appearances for David McCallum, Robert Vaughn, and Stephanie Powers in the movie.

Christopher Mills said...

"Even if he weren't cast as Waverly, I would still like to see cameo appearances for David McCallum, Robert Vaughn, and Stephanie Powers in the movie.

Not Noel Harrison?

Kevin Findley said...

Agree with you Chris. Grace should be the "whipcord" body type. Sneaky and smarmy define Solo quite well. HA!

Janus said...

Yes, Noel Harrison too; I just couldn't think of his name at the moment.

Stuart said...

Actually, I like the idea of Grace playing Kuryakin...

It would be neat to have McCallum cast as Waverly.