Last Update: 05 November 2000
Rumours about this film began circulating in August 1995, with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman the two names first associated with the parts of John Steed and Emma Peel.
By November, 1995, Mel Gibson was being touted as the male lead.
In the spring of 1996, the Daily Mail (UK) reported in two separate articles that Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes had been confirmed as the two main actors in the film.
By April 1996, "sources close to the industry" were saying that Sean Bean was favoured for the role of Steed, but that no decision had yet been made - except that it was unlikely to be Ralph Fiennes. Two other actors were also on the shortlist: Robbie Coltrane and Alan Rickman. Sean was the reported favorite.
April 1996 ended with one British newspaper concluding that Sean had definitely been signed to play John Steed, while another paper, interviewing Ralph Fiennes, stated that Fiennes would definitely play Steed.
Sean's name then disappeared from the list
of actors associated with this film, while, variously, Nicole
Kidman (again), Gwynneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson (again) and Ralph
Fiennes (again) continued to be considered, until February 1997,
when Reuters/Variety reported that Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes
were in serious talks to appear in the movie.
Update: The Avengers opened 26 June 1998, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.