Joel Edgerton Also Offered Starring Role In Steven Soderbergh's 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

by Simon Dang
November 2, 2011 11:22 AM
7 Comments
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We once described rising Australian actor Joel Edgerton as the "thinking man's Sam Worthington" and, while as unfair as that may sound, we're thinking Hollywood is starting to share our views on him as well.

After earlier revealing that the actor has been offered the lead role in the upcoming "300" sequel, "300: Battle of Artemisia," Vulture has now added that Edgerton has also been offered a starring role in Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of '60's TV show "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," the director's second-to-last film before making "Liberace" and going on sabbatical.

With Bradley Cooper already offered the lead -- a role that was vacated by George Clooney likely due to physical inhibitions caused by debilitating injuries on the set of 2005's "Syriana" -- Edgerton is being eyed for the role of Illya Kuryakin, the Russian partner of American Napolean Solo portrayed in the original series by Scotsman David MacCallum. The remake reunites Soderbergh with his "Contagion" and 'Informant' scribe Scott Z. Burns’ and will be a 1960s period piece centering on the fictitious United Network Command for Law and Enforcement set in London during the Cold War.

Burns told us in an interview for "Contagion" that he was interested in writing a spy movie that takes place at a time without modern gadgetry and cell phones. "The thing that was really fascinating to me was how do you make a spy movie without [modern] technology," he said, also adding "I haven’t really written a period thing. And that was what drove me to it was I thought that’s a different set of tools to do a spy movie with and the Cold War’s pretty fascinating."

Vulture adds that Edgerton will likely take this or the '300' sequel and, if that's truly the case, we're really hoping the actor choses Soderbergh and 'U.N.C.L.E.' Admittedly, the former may provide the actor with greater box office receipts but, judging from his past and future collaborations, we're thinking that probably isn't a driving force behind the actor's choices.

Edgerton is currently working with Baz Luhrmann on "The Great Gatsby," is set to team with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal on "Kill Bin Laden" and has completed a reunion with his Blue Tongue Films crew on Kieran Darcy-Smith's "Wish You Were Here." A writer by night, Edgerton also co-scripted his brother Nash's directorial debut "The Square," with another mysterious project also in the works for the duo. With Edgerton stocks skyrocketing in Hollywood, though, projects like that may have to sit on the sidelines for now.

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7 Comments

  • padre | November 3, 2011 11:13 AMReply

    Rachel Weisz is brilliant. Fact.

    Edgerton and Cooper look too much alike to appear in the same film as anything but brothers. Also Fact. I predict there will be much confusion in theaters. "So one brother is Russian? The Russians cloned Cooper? I don't understand this movie!"

  • KT | November 3, 2011 10:43 AMReply

    "He was brilliant in Animal Kingdom. Deserves it, top actor."

    How? He was in five minutes of the film. People use the word "brilliant" far too liberally, especially concerning actors.

  • Liz | January 5, 2012 6:53 PM

    He was in it for about 15 minutes, and yes, he was brilliant. To leave such an impression after exiting a film early is the mark of a talented actor. Deal with it.

  • carrie | November 3, 2011 9:51 AMReply

    i'm the one to think the script may be awful with all potentiel lead actors who said "no"

  • meta | November 3, 2011 3:59 AMReply

    He was brilliant in Animal Kingdom. Deserves it, top actor.

  • Darwin | November 3, 2011 3:01 AMReply

    I really hope he doesn't choose to do the 300 film. Working with Soderbergh seems like the smartest move. Warrior was a good film, but tanked at the box office and well, we all know what happened with The Thing prequel. So, I think it's in his best interest to stick with savvy directors who also have mainstream cred.

  • Neo | November 3, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    Why couldn't he do both? This is set for March and 300:BoA doesn't have a start date, so it could be August/September and everything is fine.

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