Steven Soderbergh is reportedly in talks to direct a big-screen adaptation of ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Ian Fleming co-created Cold War-era show that proved Russians and Americans could work together so long as it was against cartoonish supervillains wielding giant death rays. The project has been in development for over a decade, with the most recent script being pitched as a vehicle for Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus director David Dobkin. That version obviously would have hewed more toward the campy comedy of the show’s later years, when black-and-white sophistication gave way to far-out Technicolor and Robert Vaughn dancing with dudes in gorilla suits.
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, “With Soderbergh’s varied resume, from the light touches of Erin Brockovich andthe Ocean’s Eleven movies to the more emotionally complex films like Traffic and Solaris, there’s no telling which way the project will go.” One clue is that Soderbergh would likely be working from a script by Scott Z. Burns, who wrote Soderbergh’s The Informant!, so it would probably be a little bit of both. It’s also not yet clear whether the adaptation would retain its ’60s setting or take place now, long after the Cold War has ended. (Although, as the recent discovery of lingering Russian spies suggests, maybe that’s just what they want us to think?)