In case you missed it — and judging by its box office performance, you probably did — The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was secretly summer’s best movie. Although the door was left open for a sequel, that question is still up in the air, due to its low revenue and its stars and director’s busy schedules. But comics are now offering a possibility that would make a potential sequel that much better: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Batman are about to have a mash-up on the page. A meet and greet. A joining of forces. Called Batman ‘66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. No.1, it will be released in December. The next logical step is to put it onscreen. It will probably never happen, but it needs to. Here are three reasons why:
1. The star is convenient, and playing three characters would make it both epic and silly in the best way.
That cleft chin looks suspiciously familiar…
The most obvious parallel between the two franchises is that the Man From U.N.C.L.E, Napolean Solo, and the Superman part of the Batman v Superman equation are played by the same guy with the same chin. The tragically misunderstood Henry Cavill. Forget double-duty between Superman and Clark Kent, what if he were playing triple duty between Superman, Clark Kent, and Napolean Solo? Sure, it would be ridiculous, but sometimes ridiculousness is called for, as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. knows because it gives its characters names like Napolean Solo and has them stop for picnics in the middle of boat chases. Superheroes are supposed to have fun. They can still be dark and gritty, look to Watchmen or even Kick-Ass for examples that nail the balance of pathos and levity. The only negative would be, with Ben Affleck added to the Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer equation, there might be too many cleft chins. Would the world be ready?
2. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was secretly subversive, which the superhero genre could really use.
One of the complaints about the latest incarnation of Superman, aside from its joylessness, was that Lois Lane was incredibly boring and her chemistry with Superman was about as sizzling as mud. You want to see some personality from your female leads? Some chemistry? Look to the other two agents from U.N.C.L.E. They didn’t even kiss once the entire movie — enabling it to pass the Mako Mori test — and they still have more chemistry than Lois and Clark. The feisty Gaby puts all superhero movie women to shame.
Superhero movies are notoriously terrible at handling women: look at Thor’s portrayal of Jane, the rocket scientist who turns into a stammering fangirl whenever Thor is around, or The Avengers’ Black Widow with her leather catsuits and monstrous inability to have babies, or The Dark Knight and The Amazing Spider Man’s practice of killing the girl. You know what’s even edgier than killing the girl? Giving her a personality and an arc. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. did it quietly, when nobody was looking. If it’s combined onscreen with Batman, you can bet your ass people will be looking.
3. The villains of Gotham will jet off to Europe.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plot of the comics will be as follows: “T.H.R.U.S.H., the underworld organization from U.N.C.L.E., decides to get into the supervillain business and hires some of Batman’s most famous foes… the series sees the heroes jetting off to Europe to take care of business.”
Batman’s villains running around Europe. These guys running around Europe!
Picture them being chased around Europe by Henry Cavill playing three different characters and Armie Hammer in his glorious Russian accent and his inexplicable Hulk rage and Alicia Vikander and her bitch-please face and Ben Affleck and his artfully silvered temples. Presumably all to an excellent soundtrack and snazzy cinematography.
If that doesn’t convince you that this should happen, you have the same sense of joy as sad Bat Affleck.