With production set to start up in September, Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is building on a cast that already has a solid core group of actors. The Hollywood Reporter says that the latest addition to the project is Hugh Grant, who is now reportedly set to play the head of British Naval Intelligence.
Based on the classic spy television series, the film centers on two agents, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kullyakin (Armie Hammer) who work for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.). Together they fight against forces evil who wish for world domination, specifically the terrorist organization known as THRUSH. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is set to play the female lead, a character described as "a British agent with a thing for cars," while The Great Gatsby's Elizabeth Debicki is attached to play a dangerous femme fatale.
Back when Steven Soderbergh was attached to helm the movie it had a script written by Scott Z. Burns, but the most recent draft was scripted by Ritchie and co-writer Lionel Wigram (with whom the director worked on the two Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr.). When I spoke with Burns a couple years ago he told me that the movie would be a period piece that was inspired by true historical events, but it's entirely possible the story has changed completely in the time since.
After being absent from the big screen for about four years, Grant made his comeback in 2012 starring in the animated The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis' Cloud Atlas. He voiced one character in the former title, but played six roles in the latter (which is an absolutely stunning piece of cinema). You can watch some of his performance in the trailer below (most notably his turn as a cannibalistic tribal chief).
He has also been working on an untitled college-set romantic comedy with director Marc Lawrence that co-stars Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, and Chris Elliott.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has undergone some drastic changes in the last couple months, as the film was originally going to feature Tom Cruise as Napoleon Solo. The star ended up dropping out of the movie so that he could have time for Mission: Impossible 5, so the studio replaced him with Cavill. Presumably this resulted in the writers getting to work on a new version of the script, as Cruise is about 20 years older than the Man of Steel star. We probably won't know how much this has actually affected the movie until it comes out some time next year.