‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ Needs Stars ASAP

Now that George Clooney has left Steven Soderbergh's spy thriller, Warner Bros. is on the hunt for more A-List talent, like...

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

When last we heard from Steven "Shut Up About My Retirement" Soderbergh's upcoming spy thriller The Man from U.N.C.L.E., George Clooney had just pulled out of the starring role, leaving the project's fate uncertain. A big star leaving a production is always cause for concern, but in this case it's extra troubling since Soderbergh has had such a long, successful career of pairing with his Ocean's 11 star. The fate of the production seemed uncertain, and apparently still is unless Soderbergh can find two stars to replace the star power of the one they lost.

Going the Moneyball route, Warner Bros. is apparently pursuing a "law of averages" approach by seeking leading men to cover both Clooney's role and the second male lead, which was previously likely to go to a relative unknown. Playlist reports that Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Alexander Skarsgard are all being pursued for Clooney's now vacant seat, and has such a laundry list of stars in mind for the role of Russian spy Illya Kuryakin that it's almost not worth naming them, but here we go anyway: Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Christian Bale, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Russell Crowe and Robert Pattinson.

Yeah, Warner Bros… I think everyone in Hollywood wants these guys for just about every production. The fact that they haven't narrowed the character down to even an age range (there's a big difference between Russell Crowe and Robert Pattinson, in more ways than one) seems to imply that they're scrambling for big names and will worry about fitting the actor into the screenplay after they sign someone. Either way, production is scheduled to start in February of 2012, and we suspect that if any of these actors are currently available for that time slot, they won't be for long, U.N.C.L.E. or no U.N.C.L.E.

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