Sounds like the Man of Steel can’t always please everyone. Henry Cavill has reportedly pulled out of spy thriller Stratton less than a week before production was set to kick off, leaving the Simon West-directed pic in a highly unenviable position.
Shooting was due to take place in London and Rome starting June 2 on the adaptation of Duncan Falconer’s novel series, about a SBS (Secret Boat Service) agent for MI5 who embarks on a mission to stop a dangerous terrorist cell.
Everything had apparently been going well for Stratton as it locked down distribution deals at Cannes, but problems arose soon after, according to GFM Films’ Guy Collins, who spoke to ScreenDaily about the shake-up:
“But just before leaving Cannes last Friday we were informed by the production company that they wanted to push the start date back by around three weeks to finalise some additional casting and make some further fixes to the script. Then, during several meetings this week in London with both sets of producers including Henry Cavill, he told us he has decided not to shoot this script at this time. He had a different vision of what the film should be to us and the production team and wanted to delay production until September and shoot a different story and script.”
That’s a pretty awful position for Cavill to put the production in, especially given how long he had to watch the project come together with the greenlit script. Collins admitted that the star’s sudden exit “has been a shock for us and will be for our distributors.” He added that:
“We want to keep the production team together and Simon West as director so we have no option other than to exercise our rights under our funding agreements and replace Henry – which is not an easy task.”
Stratton was largely dependent on Cavill’s star power, so it’s likely that his departure will jeopardize some of the distribution deals that GFM Films had secured. Obviously, production won’t be going ahead as planned unless everyone involved can agree on a suitable and available replacement, but fingers crossed that Stratton doesn’t get canned just because Cavill wasn’t happy with the finished script. That would be a huge disappointment for West, Collins and everyone else who invested their time, energy and money in the project.