Clooney pulls out of Soderbergh’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Although Steven Soderbergh has made no secret of his plans to retire in the coming years – even telling the New York Times earlier this week that he wants to become a painter – he still has plenty of projects in the works before that fateful days arrive.

First up is his outbreak-thriller Contagion, followed by actioner Haywire. And lest we forget his currently shooting stripper flick Magic Mike. His swan songs will be a biopic on the life of Liberace, and a big screen adaptation of the 1960s TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Deadline reports George Clooney – who has long been attached to star in U.N.C.L.E. – is bailing on the project. It is peculiar that Soderbergh’s regular collaborator Clooney (three Ocean films, The Good German, Solaris and Out of Sight) would not want to reteam with the director for one final fling.

Warner Bros are still hoping to begin production on the flick in February 2012.

Discuss: Sad to see Soderbergh hang up the … camera?

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