Reports have Tom Cruise in early talks to star in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Warner Bros. feature adaptation of the 1960s series. The show starred Robert Vaughan and David McCallum as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, agents of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement who used gadgets and wits to fight against the evil organization known as T.H.R.U.S.H. Guy Ritchie (Snatch) will direct from a Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) script. Hit the jump for more.
Deadline reports that Cruise is in early talks for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros. The studio previously had Steven Soderbergh in line to direct with George Clooney starring, but the latter dropped out due to surgery which would have limited him in a physical role. In an interview with our own Steve Weintraub, screenwriter Burns recently talked at length about his treatment for the feature adaptation, saying:
“Steven and I both loved it because it was a way of doing a spy movie and setting up a really interesting character that was fascinating to us, because U.N.C.L.E. wasn’t affiliated with the US or with Russia, it was this great Cold War thing. And now spies have all these great toys but we would have to take some of them away, because it was the 60s and there would be different plots because you didn’t always have a cell and you couldn’t solve problems with some of the things now.
So we had this idea based on something happening in the real world where there was this—I’ll tell you what, here I’ll reveal a whole bunch. I don’t know if Warner Brothers is going to use this but there was a thing that happened with a B-52 bomber in like 1966 or 1967 over Spain where it was refueling and there was an accident and it lost its payload and three bombs fell on Spain and the Atlantic, and they hadn’t been armed, but the contained warheads. So we scattered plutonium all over a farm field in Spain, the second bomb was recovered, but the there was a period of time when the third bomb was laying on the floor of the Mediterranean and no one could find it and so it was the race to find it that was what our episode was about, which I thought was going to be really, really cool and I’m bummed we didn’t get to do it.”
This project could turn into another possible franchise for Cruise, who already boasts the success of the Mission: Impossible films and will reportedly return for a follow-up to Jack Reacher, in which he played the title character. Cruise will next star in Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi thriller Oblivion, opening April 19th.