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Bradley Cooper is a rising star thanks to the Hangover movies, and a would-be action hero thanks to The A-Team, but it looks like the chances of him playing super-spy Napoleon Solo have met their own personal Waterloo. We told you last month that Cooper had been offered the lead role in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, to be directed by Steven Soderbergh. Now Cooper has turned down the chance to reprise the role made famous by Robert Vaughn during the 1964 TV series. The Wrap reports that Cooper has dropped out of talks to join the film.
That once again leaves Warner Bros. with two lead roles to fill: Solo and his Russian partner, Illya Kuryakin, originally played by David McCallum. Solo and Kuryakin work together for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, an international spy organization. Over the course of four seasons, Solo and Kuryakin helped defend the world from evildoers such as the nefarious organization known as THRUSH. While both roles are now up for grabs, it was previously reported that Joel Edgerton (The Thing) had been offered the role of Kuryakin, but hasn't signed on yet.
It's hard to get too excited over yet another remake, but at least The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is making the smart decision to keep the action set in its original period, the 1960s. It'd be all too easy to try and reimagine the franchise for modern day, but that would lose a lot of what made the show memorable. Plus, spy games were just so much more entertaining when there was a Cold War on, and this summer's X-Men: First Class reminded us again just how much fun the era can be as a backdrop.
As for Cooper, he won't be hurting for roles. He's got nearly a dozen projects lined up, including playing Lucifer himself in Alex Proyas' adaptation of Paradise Lost and has the lead in David O. Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook. Don't expect this to hurt his career too badly.