Though it looked for a while like Warner Bros. and its big screen adaptation of cult spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. had run into a development booby trap and exploderised. Steven Soderbergh and various leading men had departed and things looked bleak, but the film managed to escape. Guy Ritchie stepped in to take over and now it seems Tom Cruise may add yet another big espionage franchise to his CV.
According to Deadline’s radar, Cruise is in early talks to star in the film, which would see agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin fighting the evil of Thrush (seriously, who is still sniggering at that? We can hear you!) as part of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement.
Cruise, of course, has had plenty of success playing Ethan Hunt in the four – to date – Mission: Impossible movies. U.N.C.L.E. would allow him to go in a slightly more charming, light-hearted fashion, albeit with Ritchie’s visual tweaks and eye for Sherlock Holmesian action.
There’s no deal in place yet, and Cruise has plenty of options. He’s developing a fifth M:I movie with Christopher McQuarrie as a possible director, and the pair may also now get another shot at Jack Reacher after the first film crossed the $215 million mark at the worldwide box office.
More immediately, he’ll be seen in Oblivion (below), which lands on April 12, followed by Doug Liman’s All You Need Is Kill on March 7 next year.