Tom Cruise has dropped out of the Warner Bros. production The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the 1960s NBC television series about spies who fight an evil organization called THRUSH. The film, to be directed by Guy Ritchie, apparently conflicted with the Paramount production schedule of Mission: Impossible 5 which is aiming to begin shooting by the end of this year. Cruise, both a producer and the star of the M:I franchise, had signed on to play U.N.C.L.E. leading man Napoleon Soto back in March, but the deal had not been closed. So, when the two films’ schedules clashed he decided to focus on M:I 5.
Cruise was not the first leading man to bow out of the film. George Clooney was also attached to U.N.C.L.E. before medical reasons caused him to decline the physically challenging role. Steven Soderbergh, who was set to direct before Guy Ritchie, left shortly after Clooney. Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Joel Kinnaman have all been considered in the lead role, and Armie Hammer, who can be seen in the action/adventure movie The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp in July, is still committed to the film as a supporting actor. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) is up to play the female lead, although nothing has been confirmedyet.
Warner Bros. is still hoping to start production of U.N.C.L.E. in the fall.