Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram make sense as a creative partnership.
When I spent time in London for the first “Sherlock Holmes,” I had the opportunity to take a long walk with Wigram over to the cathedral they were using for the opening of the movie, and as we walked, we talked about Holmes, Doyle, London, its history, and more. He was also one of the people who was involved deeply in the “Harry Potter” series, and so you could say he’s trusted by Warner Bros in a very big way.
Although it’s only been recently that “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” has been in the news in a regular way, Warner’s been working to figure out a way to bring this one back to life for a long time now. Back in ’99, they were reaching out to George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and others, and they never really figured out how to do it. It seems like Clooney must have been a fan of the original series just based on how many times he’s circled back around to the property over the years. I’m sorry his back is forcing him to curtail the more physical roles because I think he’d be pretty great in a big Bond-like spy movie.
Now that Warner’s gone through both “Sherlock” films with Ritchie, it seems like they’re fans, and my conversations with him in the last week indicate that he feels the same way. He’s a happier more relaxed Guy Ritchie than he’s ever been before, and I think he’s starting to really enjoy playing on the big canvass. If they’re going to make an “U.N.C.L.E.” movie, they’re going to have to find a way to carve out a different space than the Bond films, the “Mission: Impossible” films, and the Bourne films, while still feeling contemporary and offering up something that we haven’t seen yet. Ritchie’s got his own way of looking at action scenes, and if he brings the same sort of invention to the spy genre that he’s been enjoying in the “Holmes” films, it could finally be the right fit to get the series out of development hell. I’m just excited to hear that the script is by Scott Z. Burns, who is rapidly proving himself to be one of the smartest working writers.
We’ll see what happens, and I look forward to them starting the casting process again. These are big roles, and they’ll need some big personalities.
In the meantime, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” opens December 16.