Tom Cruise, who made Paramount a mint by bringing TV’s espionage series “Mission: Impossible” to the big screen, won’t be doing the same for Warner Bros. after all.
According to Deadline, Cruise has decided not to play Napoleon Solo in Warner’s big-screen version of “The Man From UNCLE,” apparently so he can focus on Bad Robot’s third “Impossible” movie (the fifth in the franchise).
Armie Hammer (“The Social Network,” “The Lone Ranger”) is still expected to star as Solo’s Russian sidekick Illya Kuryakin.
“Sherlock Holmes” helmer Guy Ritchie remains attached to direct. Ritchie’s other credits include “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “Snatch,” “Swept Away,” “Revolver” and “RocknRolla.”
But who will fill Cruise’s shoes? Vince Vaughn? Channing Tatum? Ryan Reynolds? Should Ritchie reach out to Robert Downey Jr. or Jude Law? Should Johnny Depp reteam with Hammer?
Years ago the UNCLE project came very close to being made with George Clooney starring for Steven Soderbergh, before Clooney's bout with back and neck therapy made it difficult for him to undertake an action role.
The 1964-68 “UNCLE” TV show began life as “Ian Fleming’s Solo,” the brainchild of the 007 novelist who was at the time riding the huge crest of James Bond’s popularity following the release of “Dr. No” in 1962.
Find all of Deadline’s exclusive on the matter here.