Tom Cruise exits 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' to focus on 'Mission: Impossible 5'
In somewhat of a surprise, Tom Cruise is no longer "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.."
While the actor signed on for the big screen remake of the '60s TV series just last month, the pre-production and planned shooting schedule of "Mission: Impossible 5" -- which Cruise is co-producing -- is reportedly making it too difficult for the star to appear in a second spy film.
Based on the series starring Robert Vaughan and David McCallum, the remake centers on U.S. spy Napoleon Solo (formerly Cruise), who is teamed with Soviet counterpart Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) by their international agency dubbed "United Network Command for Law Enforcement" (U.N.C.L.E.).
"U.N.C.L.E.," from Warner Bros. and "Sherlock Holmes" director Guy Ritchie, is still planning to begin production in the fall, and is now actively searching for a replacement lead, according to Deadline. The film just recently added Armie Hammer ("The Lone Ranger") and "Royal Wedding" star Alicia Vikander.
Meanwhile, Paramount is ramping up "M:I 5" to begin shooting by the end of the year.
"U.N.C.L.E." has been in the works for some time, originally planned as a starring vehicle for George Clooney to be directed by frequent collaborator Steven Soderbergh ("Out of Sight," the "Ocean's 11" films). Clooney dropped out, and Soderbergh followed, with Ritchie stepping in late last year.
Recently appearing in "Oblivion," Cruise will again be seen battling aliens in Warner Bros.' "All You Need Is Kill," which is set for June 6, 2014.