The world's greatest spies go head-to-head as James Bond and the men from UNCLE leap into action in the first videos from their new movies.
Bond is back in "Spectre", Daniel Craig's fourth outing as James Bond 007, and the first picture and footage from the film show England's deadliest spy preparing to tackle baddies on the snowbound slopes. Meanwhile the first trailer for "The Man from UNCLE" sees Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer step into the turtlenecks of 60s TV superspies Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin.
Directed by "Skyfall" helmer Sam Mendes, "Spectre" also stars Christophe Waltz, Léa Seydoux and Dave Bautista. Here's the first on-set footage of the film:
The "Spectre" sequence sees Craig take to the snow for the first time in action involving jeeps, cable cars and a chilly punch-up. Snowy set pieces are a staple of classic Bond -- who can forget George Lazenby chasing Telly Savalas in a bobsled in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", or Roger Moore flying off a mountain with a patriotic parachute in "The Spy Who Loved Me"? We're looking forward to henchman in black jumpsuits with lemon piping skiing into trees, and jetskis flying through the air and blowing up for no apparent reason.
"Daniel Craig looks fantastic, and very warm, in his winter outfit," said Bond clothing expert Matt Spaiser, who goes into great depth on 007's tailoring at The Suits of James Bond. "Costume designer Jany Temime seems to understand sportswear much better than she understands tailoring," he says, referring to the tightness of Craig's suits. "The first thing I always notice is if the clothes fit well, and these certainly do. The jacket has a very close fit that serves to keep him warm, but it's a close fit and not a tight fit. Daniel Craig even makes the goggles look cool!"
Meanwhile, "The Man from UNCLE" revives the classic NBC show that ran from 1964 to 1968, spawning a 1983 TV movie and spin-off series "The Girl from UNCLE". Bond author Ian Fleming was involved in creating the show, although he had to take his name off it for legal reasons.
Robert Vaughan and David McCallum became pin-ups as the titular spies, representing the US and Russia in a multinational crime-fighting organisation. In the new film Cavill is the suave Solo and Hammer the surly Kuryakin, with Hugh Grant as their boss Mr. Waverley. Guy Ritchie, best known for "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and the Robert Downey Jr. incarnation of Sherlock, is behind the camera. It's out in August. Here's the jetsetting 60s-styled trailer:
Doesn't that look fun? After the pop-art high-jinx of " Kingsman: The Secret Service", it seems espionage actioners are shaking off the po-faced, grim 'n' gritty feel of the Bourne movies for a welcome touch of retro-flavoured superspy silliness. Who knows, maybe in this one Daniel Craig's Bond might even crack a smile.
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Of course, in a post-Snowden, Five Eyes, NSA and GCHQ-monitored world it's no wonder you have to look back to find a time when spies were, y'know, fun. It's wish-fulfilment of the highest order to think of spies as globetrotting lotharios, karate-chopping men in fezzes, smirking out terrible puns and blowing up bad guys in hollowed-out volcanoes, when real-life spying involves anonymous algorithms monitoring our every thought. Which takes the shine off a bit.
Anyway, enough of that -- here's Roger Moore skiing off a cliff!