That didn’t take long. Barely 12 hours since the announcement that Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh was in talks to direct an adaptation of the 1960s television show The Man From U.N.C.L.E, reports are coming out that his long time producing partner and leading man George Clooney is interested in starring in the film. Plus, though the film was originally going to be a comedy take on the material, Soderbergh’s take is to “not modernize the film and keep it set in the director’s beloved 1960s” and “take U.N.C.L.E. back to its roots” with help from writer Scott Z. Burns. Read more after the jump.

The Playlist exclusively reported on Clooney’s interest in joining Soderbergh on the project. However, as we reported yesterday, the film might not happen for quite some time. Soderbergh alone has one film that’s ready for release – Haywire -  and he’s currently shooting another one – Contagion – that will be coming out late 2011. Then there’s Clooney, who is working on The Ides of March for release next year and is always starring in something. Plus, The Playlist says that Soderbergh try to might slip Liberace, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, in between all of those.

Clooney’s possible addition to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. certainly isn’t surprising news. He and Soderbergh are not only good friends, they’ve collaborated on dozens of projects both in an actor/director capacity and as producing partners. We’ve even seen the pair tackle the spy genre already, in radically different ways. Danny Ocean in the Ocean’s movies is basically a spy, and Clooney’s Oscar-winning performance in Syriana (which Soderbergh produced) was somewhat of a spy. One would assume, from the above quotes, that this film will tonally fit somewhere in the middle of those projects – not a goofy romp, but not a political drama either. This could be Clooney and Soderbergh’s buddy-Bond film.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which ran from 1964-1968, is about an American and Russian spy who worked together for an agency called the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

What do you think of Clooney playing the Robert Vaughn role in U.N.C.L.E.? And where does this film, with or without Clooney, rank in your list of anticipated Soderbergh projects?

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