Tom Cruise Exits ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’

Tom Cruise will no longer be playing the lead in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Cruise was scheduled to star in the remake of the “spy-fi” TV series, which ran on NBC for four seasons in the mid to late 1960s. Steven Soderbergh was initially attached to direct the film adaptation, but exited the film after Warner Bros. decided that the budget should not exceed $60 million. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie stepped in, and Cruise was in early talks to play Napoleon Solo, who was played by Robert Vaughn in the series. The Lone Ranger star Armie Hammer signed on to play opposite Cruise as Illya Kuryakin, who was originally played by David McCallum.

Cruise has reportedly departed the film in order to focus on producing and starring in Mission: Impossible 5, which will begin shooting before the end of the year. The timing of both projects was too much to manage, and Cruise decided to walk away from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Now Warner Bros. will have to find a new lead for the film, yet another setback in terms of casting. When Soderbergh was tapped to direct, George Clooney was set to play Solo, but ended up dropping out because needed to have surgery on his neck and back.

Cruise will be appearing in another Warner Bros. movie next year, the Doug Liman-directed science fiction film All You Need Is Kill, which is an adaptation of the Japanese light novel of the same name. The film is scheduled to be released June 6, 2014.

Paramount is aiming for a 2015 release for Mission: Impossible 5, but so far, no date has been set in stone. Neither a writer nor director has been confirmed for the film at this point in time.

Are you disappointed to see Tom Cruise exit The Man from U.N.C.L.E? Who do you think should replace him?

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