Clooney’ walks on U.N.C.L.E; Soderbergh announces retirement

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George Clooney has dropped out of Steven Soderbergh’s long-gestating “Man from U.N.C.L.E” movie.

Deadline don’t know the reasons behind Clooney’s departure from the film only that he won’t be joining his ol’ mate Steve on the set of the film when it begins lensing in Feb.

Soderbergh does like working with the same actors; if that’s anything to go by one imagines Matt Damon (“Syriana”, “Ocean’s Eleven”), Brad Pitt (“Ocean’s Eleven” and it’s two sequels) and even Michael Douglas (“Liberace”, “Traffic”, “Haywire”) could get a look-in to replace Clooney.

Meanwhile, those rumours about Soderbergh retiring from the industry? True. The director of such classics as “Traffic” and “Out of Sight” tells the New York Times that he’s going to be a full-time painter (!)

“I’m interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do so. I’ll be the first person to say if I can’t be any good at it and run out of money I’ll be back making another ‘Ocean’s’ movie”, THR quoted the director as telling the Times.

In addition to next month’s “Contagion”, Soderbergh has the aforementioned “Man from U.N.C.L.E”, male stripper flick “Magic Mike” and the long-awaited “Liberace” with Matt Damon and Michael Douglas (as Liberace).