Mike Fleming

You could practically feel Steven Soderbergh’s The Man From UNCLE losing its mojo after his former partner George Clooney bowed out in August because the actor’s getting surgery and wasn’t up for the stunts. Sure enough, Soderbergh has dropped out of the project because he and Warner Bros couldn’t agree on budget. Soderbergh, who’s coming off the hit Contagion and whose action film Haywire is creating buzz, is expected to set a movie to fill that slot by Thanksgiving. He’s got a long relationship with the studio–which signed on to direct his male stripper pic Magic Mike–and this wasn’t particularly acrimonious or the kind of setback that would drive someone into retirement. He flirted with a number of actors, but it never quite came together.

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