After casting search proves fruitless, Steven Soderbergh bails on Man From U.N.C.L.E.
After a long casting search that included interest from George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon and Bradley Cooper that never resulted in a signed deal, Steven Soderbergh has left THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., the spy pic he had been developing since February of 2010.
According to The Playlist, Soderbergh reportedly felt that Warner Bros. was too insistent on an A-list actor in the role, with his top choices being Michael Fassbender and Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing"). The studio was more interested in pushing the film to 2013 and waiting for Damon, who was interested, to become available. Soderbergh has other projects on his plate (the Liberace biopic with Michael Douglas and Damon set to star) and wasn't interested in waiting.
This marks the second time in as many years that Soderbergh has departed a high-profile project he had spent a considerable amount of time prepping. In mid-2009 Soderbergh walked away from MONEYBALL after creative differences with Sony over the direction of the script.
So what's next? While the March start date seems unlikely, WB is still set on moving ahead on U.N.C.L.E. with a revised budget (hey, it worked for MONEYBALL...). As for Soderbergh, Playlist is reporting he's already looking at new projects to shoot in early-2012 before he moves onto his Liberace film.
Soderbergh's next film, HAYWIRE, hit theaters in January.