Tom Cruise has dropped out of playing the lead in Warner Brothers’s big screen adaptation of the 1960s spy spoof television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He is reportedly stepping aside to concentrate on developing Mission: Impossible 5 which he will be starring in as well as producing.
This leaves the studio and director Guy Ritchie scrambling to find a replacement to play suave spy Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer, already set to play Solo’s partner in espionage Illya Kuryakin, in time to meet the project’s expected fall production start date.
I know that there are some sites who are calling this some kind of shocking story or what have you. But this does not come as much of a surprise to me, especially in light of his continued involvement with the Mission: Impossible franchise and trying to get a sequel to last year’s Jack Reacher off the ground. All three projects tread similar ground and in the long run I don’t think Cruise would want to be stuck in a cycle of playing a trio of characters that don’t have too much to differentiate them from each other.