George Clooney
and director Steven Soderbergh have teamed together on umpteen films, including the 'Ocean's Eleven' series, 'Out of Sight' and 'Solaris,' but you won't see Clooney in Soderbergh's next film.

Deadline is reporting that Clooney has dropped out of Soderbergh's adaptation of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' but no one seems to know why.

Clooney is also absent from Soderbergh's latest, the killer virus thriller 'Contagion,' which opens September 9. (Don't worry, Matt Damon is on hand to keep some Soderberghian continuity among the all-star cast.)

'U.N.C.L.E.'s screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, meanwhile, told CinemaBlend, "The script is done and [they'll] start casting soon," with an eye towards a spring start date.

Instead of basing the script on any specific TV episodes, Burns said that the movie will be inspired by real Cold War events. "All those shows are called, like, 'The Terbuf Affair' or whatever. Our 'affair' comes from something that was actually going on in the world at the time."

The original 1960s series starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum (now playing 'Ducky' on 'NCIS') as an American and a Russian spy who team up to fight the evil THRUSH organization. Clooney would presumeably have taken the Napoleon Solo role played by Vaughn.

Clooney will next be seen in the heavily-buzzed-about 'The Ides of March' and 'The Descendants,' and recently wrapped Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity.'

[via Deadline, CinemaBlend]

Image of George Clooney in 'The American' courtesy of Focus Features
categories Movies