The Man from U.N.C.L.E. spies perfect production base in UK

Audiences worldwide will be able to see Guy Ritchie’s latest action thriller The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Warner Bros.) from Friday. The reboot of the 1960s television series follows Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer’s Illya Kuryakin as they fight the Cold War in stylish fashion.

Director Ritchie has a long history of collaboration with Warner Bros., with U.N.C.L.E. following the hugely successful Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Like those films, U.N.C.L.E. based itself at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, which offers 250,000 sq. ft of state-of-the-art stage space as well as external filming spaces, water filming facilities and construction workshops onsite.
The film also shot at Pinewood Studios, making use of the expansive backlot and 806,000 gallon Paddock Tank.

Avuncular charm

Beyond the soundstages, the production also made use of the UK’s diverse locations, filming in the sweeping forestry of Ponterwyd, Ceredigion in Wales. The film’s 1960s setting also made filming in London a prerequisite, with the classical architecture of St. James’s Square, the Old Royal Naval College and Westminster’s Church Street providing the perfect backdrop. U.N.C.L.E. also filmed on location in Italy, demonstrating the ease with which productions can combine filming in the UK and other territories.

Joining Ritchie’s largely British crew were First AD Max Keene, Cinematographer John Mathieson, editor James Herbert and costume designer Joanna Johnston. Also on board was Guy richie’s long-time collaborator, producer Steve Clark-Hall. The pair recently wrapped production on another Warner Bros. epic, Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, which will be released in July next year.

Post for U.N.C.L.E.

The UK talent wasn’t confined to physical production, with the film utilising the UK’s world class post and VFX facilities. Visual Effects work was carried out at both Cinesite and BlueBolt, one of the UK’s leading boutique VFX houses, which is able to service both features and high-end television productions, with previous credits including Game of Thrones (HBO). Other facilities used by the production included digital imaging technicians 4KLondon with soundtrack recording carried out at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. comes hot on the heels of UK-produced spy thriller Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount). Rogue Nation has been both a critical and commercial success, topping the US box office for the last two weekends, and further demonstrating the UK’s ability to produce the most ambitious of projects.