Tom Cruise Might be the 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' for Guy Ritchie at WB
When George Clooney exited an early version of the film adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. back in 2011, many thought it was the beginning of the end for the long-gestating project. Steven Soderbergh was once attached to direct, but Clooney's departure and ensuing disagreements about budget and re-casting caused him to vacate a few months later and direct Side Effects instead. Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie took over soon after, but progress has been slow since then. Now Deadline is reporting that Tom Cruise is in early talks for a lead role. A move like that should speed up development on this considerably.
The original NBC television series, which ran from 1964-1968, followed two mismatched secret agents (one American, one from the USSR) working for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement as they thwarted the plots of THRUSH, an organization so evil that even opposing countries like Russia and the U.S. put aside their differences and worked together to oppose it. This is not to be confused with Get Smart, Mel Brooks' spy satire series which also ran in the 1960s and was adapted into its own movie back in 2008.
If this deal goes through, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. would be Cruise's second spy franchise based on a '60s TV series, as he launched and continues to headline the Mission: Impossible movies. Word is this movie is being primed to start a franchise of its own, so it looks like Cruise could be suiting up for more gadget-based antics on the big screen. This seems like a really odd career choice for him, especially considering the M:I connection, and we were hoping he'd stick to science fiction for a little while longer since he has Oblivion, All You Need is Kill, and Our Name is Adam on his plate. But with Ritchie's style and hopefully a decent script, this one could turn out to be worth seeing. We'll keep an eye on the film's development from here.