Guy Ritchie: Music is the key to The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie: Music is the key to The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie has said he likes to examine male relationships in his films because he finds them fascinating, and he thinks the score is the most important part of a movie. “The way men interact with each other,” he explained. “Even going back to [1998's] Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, I’m drawn to that male-to-male dynamic as kind of a genre unto itself.”

He’s at it again in The Man From U.N.C.L.E, a big screen adaptation of the Sixties spy TV series, which he’s directed and produced – as well as co-written, with his close friend and producing partner, Lionel Wigram. The two are so close, LA-based Lionel even lives with Guy, 46, and new wife, model Jacqui Ainsley, 33, and their three children Rafael, Rivka and Levi, for a large portion of the year. The pair worked together on the 2009 and 2011 Sherlock Holmes films, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, and created the production company Ritchie/Wigram in 2011.

Guy revealed how living in the same house helps with the film-making process, as the pair can spend a couple of years making a movie. “You spend three or four hours locked up in a room, then spend two or three hours in the pub and then another few hours over breakfast, and you realise you’ve done about 16 hours of writing in a day through sheer proximity.”

They’ve both been sent to extract the same vital German asset (Gaby, played by Alicia Vikander) from behind the Berlin Wall at the height of the Cold War. But a few days later, they’re informed by their respective handlers that they’ll now be working together on the case.In The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Henry Cavill plays elite CIA operative Napoleon Solo, who encounters his KGB counterpart Illya Kuryakin, portrayed by Armie Hammer.

“What we found so irresistible was taking these polar opposite agents and forcing them together,” Guy said. “So they start out trying to annihilate each other and end up cooperating, but maybe still not entirely trusting each other. The story is largely the evolution of their collaboration.” Set in 1963, the film has a beautiful cast, clothing, cars and locations – but that’s all secondary to the music for its director.


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