That didn’t take long. Only a week after Tom Cruise departed The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to focus on Mission: Impossible 5, director Guy Ritchie may have already found a super new lead.

According to new reports, Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is in active negotiations to star in the adaptation. If cast, Cavill would join Armie Hammer as one of two secret agents working for U.N.C.L.E. (the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement).

Variety was the first to report Cavill’s possible involvement in the film, noting that the actor’s schedule is wide open, making him a good last-minute replacement for Cruise. It’s a smart choice for another reason, too: Cavill’s (potential) star power. Assuming Man of Steel does the kind of business that industry analysts are projecting, Cavill will be a bona fide box office star by the time the movie comes out. Will he be as big a name as Cruise? No, but he will have plenty of name recognition, and that’s a big deal.

Given that most modern audiences will be unfamiliar with the original 1960s TV series, casting an A-lister in the lead role is important. Pairing Cavill with Armie Hammer (who is testing his own leading man chops in Disney’s The Lone Ranger) is a great way to lock in two rising stars and breathe some life into a property with less built-in brand recognition.

It’s been a long road for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to date. At one point, the film was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, with George Clooney attached to star. Then Clooney dropped out and Bradley Cooper and Channing Tatum were floated as replacements. After that, Soderbergh dropped out and was replaced by Ritchie. When Cruise left the film, it seemed like one more stroke of bad luck for Warner Bros.

But if Cavill signs on for the film, the studio should be able to breathe easy…for now at least. What do you think of Cavill joining the film? Is he a good choice to replace Tom Cruise? Let us know in the comments.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. doesn’t have a release date yet.

Source: Variety