Tom Cruise Says Uncle, Unexpectedly Quits ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ Feature

By  · Published on May 24th, 2013

Want to drop a major piece of casting news? Let it loose on the Friday before the season’s first holiday weekend.

Deadline Hollywood reports the genuinely surprising news that Tom Cruise has quit the already-beleaguered The Man from U.N.C.L.E. feature he has been attached to since March. The film has already been through a few incarnations, most notably when it was set to be directed by Steven Soderbergh with George Clooney starring, but it looked to finally be on track with Guy Ritchie directing and Armie Hammer co-starring as one half of an agent duo from the United Network Command for Law Enforcement.

Cruise has reportedly stepped aside because of good old-fashioned scheduling conflicts, as he is now turning his attention to producing and starring in that upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel (the fifth film in the franchise). With U.N.C.L.E. still set to film this fall, Cruise seemingly had way too much on his plate to do both.

Warner Bros. will now begin the arduous task of recasting the lead role of Napoleon Solo, first played by Robert Vaughn in the 1960’s television series, in order to make their targeted film date. For a role that’s already been vacated by Hollywood’s two biggest male stars, the studio will surely be looking for someone just as famous for the part. I guess someone should call Brad Pitt now? Hammer, who was set to star as Illya Kuryakin in April, is still “firmly” on board the project.

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