Many spy fans will no doubt watch Haywire (review here) as some sort of indicator of what director Steven Soderbergh has up his sleeve for his feature film version of the Sixties spy TV classic The Man From U.N.C.L.E. With this line of thought, we venture immediately into the purely speculative realm… but sometimes rampant speculation is fun, right? My own guess would be that Haywire is not very indicative of what to expect from Soderbergh’s U.N.C.L.E. While the director’s stated affinity for early Bond movies no doubt inspired him in making both films, I’d be surprised if he repeats himself in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Repetition is one thing that Steven Soderbergh’s career has not been marked by—three Ocean movies notwithstanding. It’s fun to imagine that in the future film historians might look back at The Informant!, Haywire and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as Soderbergh’s late career (apparently, if he goes through with these cockamamie retirement plans) “spy trilogy.” When they do, I’m willing to bet that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will be as stylistically different from Haywire as Haywire is from The Informant! While Soderbergh puts his own unique stamp on every action sequence in Haywire, it is clearly a film of the post-Bourne era. (Not stylistically, so much, but in terms of the sheer number of action scenes and how quickly they come.) I suspect that Soderbergh’s U.N.C.L.E. film will unfold at a somewhat more leisurely (though certainly not languid) pace. Although… it would be pretty cool to see a Cold War-set period film deliver the same kind of high-octane action sequences as Haywire, with modern fight choreography, against a Sixties Technicolor backdrop, wouldn’t it? And even more so if the film were shot using Sixties techniques like rear projection and miniatures (a sort of serious take on what Michel Hazanavicius does in the OSS 117 parody films), contrasting starkly with that sort of action? I certainly think so. And there’s some precedence for that approach in Soderbergh’s filmography; The Good German (review here) was shot to approximate the techniques of the 1940s, from its crisp black-and-white cinematography to its distinctive Michael Curtiz-inspired camera movements. Now I think I’ve convinced myself that Haywire-meets-The Good German would be the right approach to present The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in a brand new light, and for the director to do something new, yet still in his wheelhouse... but we’re really no closer to knowing what Soderbergh actually has in mind. Hm. Yes, sometimes rampant speculation is fun! But not very productive, I guess.