Nicholas Hoult Dropped Out of ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ to Finish ‘The Great’

Tom Cruise personally cast Hoult after he auditioned for "Top Gun: Maverick."
Nicholas Hoult at the "Renfield" premiere
Nicholas Hoult at the "Renfield" premiere
Getty Images

Nicholas Hoult had to do something that few Hollywood people ever dream of: turn down Tom Cruise.

The “Renfield” star revealed that after initially being cast as the main villain in “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” in January 2020, he had to part ways with production to finish Hulu series “The Great” Season 3. “Bad Boys” actor Esai Morales went on to replace Hoult in the blockbuster sequel.

“I screen-tested for ‘The Batman’ and didn’t get it. Screen-tested for ‘Top Gun,’ didn’t get it,” Hoult told The Guardian. “Then I got the call from Tom Cruise, ‘Hey, how about “Mission: Impossible”?’ OK. Got it. Then I had to drop out because I was already attached to do some more of ‘The Great.'”

“The Great” stars Hoult as Russian Emperor Peter III alongside Elle Fanning’s eponymous Catherine the Great. Hoult and Fanning both earned Emmy nominations for their performances in Season 2 of the historical satire. Season 3 of “The Great” is set to premiere on May 12, 2023 on Hulu, two years after the second season debuted.

While Robert Pattinson and Miles Teller went on to be cast in “The Batman” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” respectively, Hoult was later cast in Robert Eggers’ “Nosferatu.” Despite being another take on the Dracula story, Hoult said the film “could not be further removed from ‘Renfield’ if it tried.” Willem Dafoe, Lily-Rose Depp, Bill Skarsgård, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson also star.

Hoult teased that buddy comedy “Renfield” is a mix of “almost ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ meets ‘Notting Hill,’ with a sprinkling of ‘John Wick.'” Hoult shares the screen with Nicolas Cage, with whom he starred in “The Weather Man” back in 2005. The actor previously credited Cage with being a guiding light to him on both sets.

“Intimidated by it, but also made to feel very calm and safe with Nick,” Hoult said of the experience. “Side note, I also got to eat my first ever corndog in his presence. It was in a scene, which was obviously a big moment that stuck with me. But then yeah, to get to work with him again, as an adult, I get to appreciate much more of his work.”

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