Could "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." be C.R.U.I.S.E.? That's what Warner Bros. execs are banking on with their latest attempt to revive the perennially stalled reboot of the classic 1960s TV series, replacing previously attached leading man George Clooney with Tom Cruise.

Deadline reports that Cruise is in preliminary talks with the studio to join the long-gestating project. The cult series ran from 1964 to 1968 and starred Robert Vaughn as Napolean Solo, the role that Cruise would assume. The action-heavy series featured Solo and his partner, Illya Kuryakin, fighting an evil agency known as Thrush.

That action was part of the reason Clooney dropped out of the role -- he suffered a back injury in 2011 and wasn't up to the film's demands. Original director Steven Soderberg searched for a replacement, considering Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Michael Fassbender for the part, but no deals were signed and the project stalled over a disagreement about the budget. Soderberg eventually abandoned the film, and Warner Bros. brought in director Guy Ritchie late last year to revive it.

Saying "U.N.C.L.E." could prove to be a lucrative move for Cruise, whose action franchise roles are starting to pile up. He's set to star in yet another installment of the "Mission: Impossible" series (also based on a '60s TV show), and will also shoot a sequel to last year's "Jack Reacher."

Check out Deadline's coverage for more details.
CATEGORIES Movies