The new Man from U.N.C.L.E. film is not Solo and Kuryakin's first cinema appearance...
...but it is the first time the entire movie was shot for theatrical release.
Let me explain.
In 1964, spies were the hot pop culture commodity thanks to the runaway success of Sean Connery's James Bond films Dr No and From Russia with Love.
Hoping to capitalize on the fad, all three TV networks demanded series pilots featuring spies.
MGM's entry was Solo, starring Robert Vaughn as U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo. along with David McCallum in a minor role as agent Illya Kuryakin.
NBC liked it and bought the show, but demanded several changes, including retitling the show.
The pilot aired as "The Vulcan Affair", with several minor changes including reshooting all the scenes with the head of U.N.C.L.E., who was recast, and dubbing "THRUSH" into everyone's dialogue to replace "WASP" as the name of the badguys' organization.
One other note: "The Vulcan Affair" was broadcast in black and white (as was the entire first season of the show) since most American households still only had b/w TVs!
To recover costs for the expensive pilot, MGM shot several additional scenes with actress Luciana Paluzzi as a WASP agent trying to seduce and kill Napoleon Solo to get the running time up to about 90 minutes and released the finished film as To Trap a Spy!
You'll note there's no mention of "U.N.C.L.E." on the poster, since the show hadn't aired outside of the US at that point, so it was promoted as a Bond-like spy pic!
Here's the theatrical trailer for the movie...
...which mentions, at the very end, the tv series as the basis for the movie.
It did moderately-good box office overseas, which resulted in another theatrical release, which we'll show you...tomorrow!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!