Steven Soderbergh Ditches ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

And all because George Clooney has a bad back. No, really.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. just ain't happening. Not with Steven Soderbergh in the director's chair anyway. A string of casting fiascos jumpstarted by the loss of leading man George Clooney, who reportedly left the production because of a bad back, has derailed the Warner Bros. adaptation of the hit 1960's TV series about two American spies working for the top secret organization, "The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement."

After George Clooney bounced, Warner Bros. and Soderbergh were at loggerheads for months over who to cast in the proposed action film, with stars like Ryan Gosling, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum and even Johnny Depp (during the brief Lone Ranger debacle) considered to take over the potential franchise, but all falling through for one reason or another. Soderbergh apparently got tired of the delays, since he's planning on taking a lengthy sabbatical from filmmaking following his Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, which was scheduled to shoot right after Man from U.N.C.L.E. The Playlist had the exclusive story, and details the casting woes in… well, detail, and quite a lot of it.

Man from U.N.C.L.E. is expected to go on with a new director, although there's a good chance that Soderbergh's take on the material will be scrapped, delaying the production. Soderbergh is reportedly looking for a quick project to shoot during the period when Man from U.N.C.L.E. was originally scheduled, in advance of the summer start date for Behind the Candelabra

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