Tom Cruise considering U.N.C.L.E., Deadline says

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is considering starring in a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., ACCORDING TO A STORY ON THE DEADLINE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS WEB SITE.

Here’s an excerpt from the story by Mike Fleming Jr.:

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros may have finally found its The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I’m hearing that early talks with Tom Cruise to star in the film that will be directed by Sherlock Holmes helmer Guy Ritchie….Warner Bros. began quiet talks with Cruise after he completed All You Need Is Kill with director Doug Liman, which must have turned out pretty strong.

Cruise, 50, has starred in four Mission: Impossible films (though not as a character who was part of that 1966-73 television show). The fourth M:I movie, directed by Brad Bird, was arguably the one most faithful to the original. The first, in 1996, made Jim Phelps, hero M:I in the second through seventh seasons, the villain of the movie.

Warner Bros. has the rights to the 1964-68 U.N.C.L.E. show, featuring the exploits of Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn, misspelled in the Deadline story) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum). The studio was keen to have Steven Soderbergh direct a movie version but that fall apart in late 2011 AFTER A LONG SOAP OPERA. Warners assigned the project to Guy Ritchie with Soderbergh’s departure.

We’ll see. There has been A LONG HISTORY of unsuccessful attempts to revive U.N.C.L.E. The original series began with meetings in New York between producer Norman Felton and 007 author Ian Fleming in October 1962. Sam Rolfe did the heavy lifting coming up with a script for the pilot. Fleming exited the U.N.C.L.E. project in June 1963, signing away his rights for one British pound.

UPDATE (8:20 P.M.): The Hollywood Reporter HAS ITS OWN VERSION OF THE STORY. But the trade publication takes a more skeptical tone.

Guy Ritchie and his producing partner Lionel Wigram came on in December 2011 but they too had trouble finding their Solo and Kuryakin. Late last year the studio had offers out to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to play the duo, offers that did not pan out.

Cruise just wrapped the sci-fi action movie All You Need is Kill for Warners, on which the studio is high. Sources have said that if the Cruise casting doesn’t gel, Ritchie will be forced to move on to a new movie project.

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3 Responses

  1. ["The first, in 1996, made Jim Phelps, hero M:I in the second through seventh seasons, the villain of the movie."]

    That’s why I loved it so much. Very original of them.

  2. OTOH, it is why i’ve long believed T Cruise should be ripped apart by several distantly separated nests of vipers. (But thanks for posting the story).

  3. Nothing to see here. This is not the Solo you’re looking for. Move along…

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