EXCLUSIVE: Armie Hammer, who plays the title character opposite Johnny Depp in the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger for Disney, is set to star with Tom Cruise in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the remake of the classic TV series that Guy Ritchie will direct for Warner Bros. The original TV series ran from 1964-68, with Robert Vaughan and David McCallum playing Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, two agents of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement. With gadgets and their wits and charm, they fought the evil forces of Thrush.
Warner Bros has long been high on the project, especially when the studio had Steven Soderbergh ready to direct George Clooney in the lead. The actor dropped out because he needed surgery on his neck and back, and he wasn’t up for a physical role. After Soderbergh departed, the studio turned the project over to Ritchie and his producing partner Lionel Wigram. John Davis is also producing. Hammer would play a version of the role originated by McCallum, an NCIS regular who strangely doesn’t seemed to have aged since the ’60s. Hammer, who’s repped by WME and attorney Harris Hartman, is making his bid to be one of those up-and-comer leading men and getting on the ground floor of a franchise with Cruise and Ritchie certainly seems like a smart move from here.