It seems that now George Clooney has left Steven Soderbergh’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the search from a new leading man, and the rest of the cast has got underway. Not long ago it was mentioned that Warner Bros. were looking at Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Alexander Skarsgard for the second lead of Illya Kuryakin, as the studio wants to fill both lead roles with A-List actors. Now though, there are many more names in the mix.
The Playlist has revealed that Warner Bros. has a wish list of actors that could replace Clooney in the role of Napoleon Solo, which includes; Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and Robert Pattinson.
Obviously this group of actors is not an unusual one, but it seems we can most likely cross a couple of names off that list already. DiCaprio looks to be out, with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. eyeing a February 14th start. At that time he will be busy filming Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained which has a January start date.
Matt Damon apparently loved the script and Soderbergh loved him for the part but, Damon is set to film is directional debut Father Daughter Time: A Tale Of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses in February as well, which means we are very unlikely to see Damon in the role unless he can, or would, want to push the start of his directional debut.
Though Warner Bros. may want one of those actors, Soderbergh has had his eye on someone else to star as Napoleon Solo, his Haywire star Michael Fassbender. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Fassbender is available either. He is set to star alongside his Jane Eyre co-star Mia Wasikowska in an Untitled Jim Jarmusch Project, which has a January start date.
As for the role Illya Kuryakin, it seems that Soderbergh’s choice is Joel Kinnaman, the Swedish star who is best known for his role on AMC‘s The Killing. He is currently staring in The Darkest Hour and an indie titled Lola Versus. Apparently, Soderbergh already met with Kinnaman at Comic-Con and discussed the role with him. However, this less known actor doesn’t fit Warner Bros’ bill of A-List actors, so who knows if he’ll get the part.
Whatever compromise Warner Bros. and Soderbergh come up with for the casting, it has to be done reasonably quickly as they are looking to begin filming on Valentine’s Day next year, and have the film ready for a late 2012 release.