You might be surprised, given the handful of mediocre pictures he’s starred in, but Hugh Grant has a reputation for being picky about projects. While he played a variety of characters in The Wachowskis‘ new age epic “Cloud Atlas,” the last time he appeared on screen in something that wasn’t a voice role? 2009’s already forgotten and poorly reviewed “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” But he’s been a bit busier lately. He’s already got a rom-com shooting that teams him with Marisa Tomei and will see release next year, and now he’s jumping on board another unlikely big budget production.
Grant has been enlisted for Guy Ritchie‘s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” joining youngsters Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki. Co-written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram (they teamed on the “Sherlock Holmes” films and we presume a similar sense of inspired wackiness will be part of this flick), the movie is an adaptation of the cult TV spy show. Cavill is taking the role of Napoleon Solo, with Hammer as his wingman Illya Kuryakin, while Grant will play the head of the British Naval Intelligence. As for the women, Vikander is slotted in an unknown female, with Debicki as a femme fatale.
The casting is certainly interesting on this one—it’s gone a long way from what Steven Soderbergh‘s plans were, and remember, at one time this was going to be a Tom Cruise jam—so we’ll see how it shakes out. Production starts next month. [THR]