Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic") is in early talks to direct Warner Bros.' long-gestating adaptation of the '60s TV series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
James Bond author Ian Fleming co-created NBC's Cold War-set spy series, which followed the adventures of American and Russian members of a secret agency known as the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
The studio has been developing the project since the '90s, most recently with David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") directing from a script by Max Borenstein that was reportedly well liked by Warners brass.
However, Dobkin has decided that he'll only be involved as a producer (along with John Davis), and WB is in negotiations with Soderbergh's "The Informant!" screenwriter Scott Z. Burns to write a new script.
While "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." was expected to take a more comedic tone with Dobkin at the helm, it's unclear which direction Soderbergh will take the project, as the genre-hopping filmmaker can't be tied down to one particular type of movie.
Soderbergh has Relativity's action film "Haywire" on the horizon, and he'll soon return behind the camera for WB's globetrotting virus thriller "Contagion," which was also written by Burns.
With such a busy schedule, Soderbergh will have to wait until the end of next year at the earliest to direct "U.N.C.L.E."
Soderbergh and Burns are represented by Anonymous Content, while the latter is also repped by UTA.