George Clooney, for reasons that remain unclear, has backed away from what would be his last chance to work with old friend Steven Soderbergh--assuming Soderbergh finally gets around to retiring.
Clooney is dropping out of Soderbergh's big-screen adaptation of the '60s spy series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," reported Deadline. Despite the loss of Clooney, Warner. Bros still intends to move forward with their plans to start shooting in February.
It seems odd that Clooney would pass on "U.N.C.L.E." what with Soderbergh spending the last two years threatening to retire. Is it possible that Clooney's grown as weary as the rest of us of Soderbergh's blather?
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When Matt Damon first spilled the beans on Soderbergh's plans, the director was annoyed by the actor's indiscretion. But since then, Soderbergh can't seem to stop talking about retiring--and yet, he also keeps picking up new projects. He's got "Contagion" coming out next week, "Haywire" gets released in January, "U.N.C.L.E." starts shooting in February, he's said to be working on "The Hunger Games," then he's supposed to make "Liberace," and most recently he's added the male-stripper coming-of-age tale "Magic Mike," in per-production. This is not the schedule for a man who plans to quit movie making in order to pursue a career as a painter.
“I’m interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do so,” he recently told The New York Times. “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.”
We have to admit, we were amused earlier this year when he demanded "a smallish farewell parade," but we wish he'd stop with the retirement talk. Listen up, Steven: Just paint and shut up about retiring. You're not yet 50, there's is now way you're going to live another 30 years without making another film.
If Soderbergh were really done, we find it impossible to believe that Clooney, with whom he's made six films and a TV series, would pass up "U.N.C.L.E."