When it was revealed last week that Tom Cruise was dropping out of Guy Ritchie’s upcoming film version of the 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the presumption at large was that the studio would replace him with someone age-equivalent. After all, the project had him paired up with Armie Hammer, an actor 24 years younger than himself. The script must mention their age difference at one point, right? Well, if it does they’ll need to do a rewrite, as the part of Napoleon Solo has just gone to an actor only three years older than Hammer.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Henry Cavill, who will likely launch to the top of the A-list with the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, is now in talks to take over what would have been Cruise’s role in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Hammer is still attached to play Illya Kuryakin, Solo’s partner. Should Cavill sign on, he and Hammer will team up as agents of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) who help protect the world from the evil forces of the organization THRUSH. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is still in talks to play the movie’s female lead. The trade makes no mention of script changes to account for the fact that one of the two leads is now 20 years younger than he was originally written.
Cavill will likely see an endless stream of job offers roll in once his Superman movie hits theaters on June 14th, so Warner Bros. – which backed Man of Steel and is developing Man From U.N.C.L.E. – is smart to keep him in the studio fold.