While 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was yet another reboot film of a beloved property from the past amongst an industry brimming with similar projects, the Guy Ritchie-directed actioner starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander carved out a cult following that belies its underwhelming box-office performance. However, according to Hammer, that enthusiasm could still pay dividends with a sequel!
While a recent interview with Collider had Armie Hammer sitting down alongside director Ben Wheatley to promote their upcoming crime thriller Free Fire (in which names like Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Sharlto Coley also star), Hammer was asked – in apparent jest – about the possibility of a sequel to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; a query yielding a surprisingly potent answer. Switching gears from Free Fire, Hammer – initially hesitant – makes a decision motivated by expedience to drop some breaking news about the (up until now non-existent) U.N.C.L.E. sequel’s status, stating:
“I actually recently talked to Lionel Wigram, the producer and co-writer with Guy [Ritchie], about a Man from U.N.C.L.E. sequel, and I was like, ‘Dude if you don’t start writing this script I’m gonna show up at your house and cut all of the tires of all of your cars, I swear to God.’ And he was like, ‘You know what? F**k it. I’m just gonna do it, I’ll probably start writing it,’ and I was like, ‘Yes! Good! Start writing it!’ So, if you haven’t yet, Lionel, checkmate. Start writing it!”
However, at least for now, Lionel Wigram has plenty on his plate in his other capacity as a producer for projects like the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel and frequent collaborator Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (which Wigram co-wrote) and Ritchie’s presumed next gig in Sherlock Holmes 3. Thus, while Hammer’s U.N.C.L.E. sequel story, isn’t confirmation of a greenlight, it reveals enthusiasm for the idea amongst its creative coalition. Of course, there is a mighty logistical hump to be cleared, since the 2015 original film – adapting the iconic 1964-1968 television spy series – only yielded $109.8 million globally on the back of its $75 million budget; a sum that left things barely in the black in the context of industry standards.
Pertinently, Armie Hammer recently jumped onboard a sci-fi film project called Freakshift, which will see him reunited with his The Man from U.N.C.L.E. co-star Alicia Vikander, possibly playing off the “will they or won’t they?” chemistry exuded from the onscreen pairing of Hammer’s Soviet spy Ilya Kuryakin and Vikander’s secret MI6 agent (and later third U.N.C.L.E. team member) Gabby Teller. Perhaps, that reunion could end up stoking wider intrigue for the sequel, as well.
Regardless, fans of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. who have been holding out hope for more onscreen exploits from Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo, Armie Hammer’s Ilya Kuryakin and Alicia Vikander’s Gabby Teller finally have something on which to hang their hats.