UPDATE: Bradley Cooper has dropped out of talks to star in Steven Soderbergh's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," according to Deal Central. The "Hangover" star is apparently too busy for spy games as he'll immediately segue into Alex Proyas' epic "Paradise Lost" after wrapping "The Silver Linings Handbook."
So the hunt is on for a new Napoleon Solo. Joel Edgerton is reportedly circling the role of Solo's Russian partner, Ilya Kuryakin, though nothing's been made official.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Since George Clooney ditched Steven Soderbergh's big-screen adaptation of the '60s show "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," the rumor mill has been churning nonstop with the names of other dapper dudes up for the role. Would it be Joseph Gordon-Levitt? The Gos? What about Alexander Skarsgaard?
Well, it looks like Bradley Cooper is gonna try and fill those debonair shoes left empty by Clooney's departure.
(No word on why Clooney bowed out, but we like to think he's working on his tan at his villa in Italy or something equally luxurious. He's probably just really busy, though!)
Cooper, who has been everywhere since "The Hangover" kicked his career in the booty, is a busy boy; he's got the new Derek Cianfrance depresser "The Place Beyond the Pines" (costarring the Gos!) in the can and is currently filming David O'Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook." Side note: Was Cooper the man behind Mark Wahlberg and Russell's bromantical breakup? All signs point to yes!
Then he's off to a dark and spooky place with "Paradise Lost," where he'll be taking on the role of Lucifer in Alex Proyas' adaptation of the John Milton classic. (Can't say we're not relieved he ditched "The Crow" remake, but then again, so did the director. Wah, wah!)
Soderbergh, of course, is currently filming the rollicking banana hammock pic "Magic Mike," whose banana-hammock clad cast is getting more interesting by the day.
Bradley Cooper's a buzzy leading man in Hollywood, for sure, but he's not quite in the Soderbergh echelon of Brad Pitt/George Clooney leading men. If he snags the role of Napoleon Solo in "U.N.C.L.E.," will he be signing a lease on his very own Italian villa?
No matter how fancy his tuxedo collection grows, let us never forget "Wet Hot American Summer."
Originally published on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 at 12:01 p.m. ET.