Steven Soderbergh and Warner Bros. have parted ways after a long, drawn-out casting process. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker has decided to opt out and will no longer be directing “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.“, a project he and writer Scott Z. Burns have been developing since early 2010. Recent talks between Soderbergh and WB execs this weekend have resulted in unresolved disputes over casting and budgets.
Warner Bros. introduced a $60 million dollar budget proposal for the first installment of what is supposed to be a franchise threequel. Soderbergh argued the figure was insufficient for a ‘60s set period spy film that takes place on four continents, and decided he could no longer wait for the studio to refine numbers or set cast.
Several A-Listers were being considered for the lead role, including George Clooney, Michael Fassbender, Joel Kinnaman, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, and Matt Damon but all fell through for various reasons.
For now it seems WB will have to scrap the planned March shoot date and start all over. Soderbergh on the other hand had been eyeing a future project for weeks before his ultimate exit. Soderbergh’s next movie “Haywire” comes out in January. His stripper movie, “Magic Mike” – ironically acquired this fall by Warner Bros. – hits screens in the summer of 2012.