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Jared Harris has become the latest star to join the cast of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the upcoming film version of the classic spy series that his set to be directed by Guy Ritchie (with whom Harris previously worked on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The Hollywood Reporter has announced the news, but it would seem that the actor's role is being kept under wraps for now.
Based on a script co-written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, the film tells the story of two spies, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), who work for a covert agency called the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (or U.N.C.L.E. for short). While little is known about the specific plot, the television series had the two heroes traveling around the world thwarting the evil plans of the terrorist organization THRUSH. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who was most recently featured in Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, is playing the female lead ("a British agent with a thing for cars"), Elizabeth Debicki is attached to play a dangerous femme fatale, while it was recently reported that Hugh Grant will star as the head of British Naval Intelligence.
In regard to Harris, while I was rather underwhelmed with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - it's not a bad movie, just not a very good one - I will stand up for his performance as Moriarty. He wasn't as engaging as the manic Andrew Scott was (is?) on the series Sherlock, but he put his own spin on the character, was certainly devilish enough, and proved to work well with Ritchie as a director. It's hard to say if Harris will be getting the chance to put on a similar role in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. or if he will be playing one of the good guys this time around but at the very least we know he has the chops to pull off a solid performance.
Get a taste of what Harris and Ritchie can produce together in the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows scene below:
This likely won't be the last casting announcement we here in the coming days. After being in development for a few years, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is finally going into production next week, September 9th, and will be doing a bit of globetrotting, filming in Italy, Rome and Naples. The movie obviously has a solid cast already - albeit missing a big A-list star like Tom Cruise or George Clooney - but it wouldn't be too surprising to see them toss in a few more players before cameras get rolling. The film is being produced and will be distributed by Warner Bros., though they have yet to announce a release date.