Borenstein's Your (Man From) UNCLE

Writer tapped for big-screen return

The Hollywood update of The Man From UNCLE is one of those projects that seemed destined forever to languish in Development Hell. But it just got a bit nearer to fruition, with the news from The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog that a writer is now on board, in the form of Max Borenstein. He joins the already attached director David Dobkin.

The Man From UNCLE, as you most assuredly already know, was a light-hearted spy series that ran for 105 episodes between 1964 and 1968, and was partly developed by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. It starred Robert Vaughn as the suave and sophisticated American agent Napoleon Solo, and David McCallum, in an interesting bit of Cold War detente, as the intense Russian Illya Kuryakin.

The international intelligence agency UNCLE was the United Network Command for Law an Enforcement. Their chief antagonists were the agents of THRUSH: the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity (although that acronym was never actually revealed in the series: it's a retcon from the spinoff novels). The series spawned a sister in The Girl From UNCLE, several cinema releases of expanded TV episodes, and a reunion TV movie in 1983.

All cracking stuff, and the possible basis for a great reboot, as long as it's nothing like the Ralph Fiennes / Uma Thurman Avengers. Borenstein is a bit of an unknown quantity, but wrote and directed the indie Sword Swallowers and Thin Men, which picked up some notices at the 2003 LA Film Festival, and is writing the in-development Jimi Hendrix biopic.

David Dobkin directed Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights, and Fred Claus though, so make of that what you will...