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Time Warner Inc. Turns to Classic TV to Boost Its Franchise Fortunes

By Tim Beyers - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:30PM

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Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer to star in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in January 2015.

Are you old enough to remember the TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.? No? Time Warner ( TWX ) hopes you'll tune in anyway when its Warner Bros. subsidiary brings a film adaptation to the big screen in 2015, Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the risks in the following video.

NBC aired 105 episodes of the show over four seasons, from 1964 to 1968. The series starred Robert Vaughn as American spy Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin. Rather than working for their respective countries, they'd cooperate under the purview of  the fictional United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, or U.N.C.L.E., to deal with threats too big for any single nation to handle. Most often, from an opposing organization known as T.H.R.U.S.H. Cold War era audiences tuned in, but a 1983 TV special, The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair, flopped in the ratings, and the franchise hasn't been spoken of till recently.

For the movie adaptation, Warner has turned to Henry Cavill to play Solo, while Armie Hammer is set to play Kuryakin. Guy Ritchie will direct the film, which is set to open on Jan. 16, 2015, during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Whether or not the bet works out, Tim says Warner is smart to keep the film out of the 2015 summer lineup, which is already dominated by proven action (i.e., Avengers: Age of Ultron) and comedy (i.e., Minions) franchises.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like Warner's chances with The Man From U.N.C.L.E.? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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