21/09/2011 10:51 BST | Updated 21/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Michael Fassbender To Star In 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'?

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Michael Fassbender is reportedly the lead contender to take on the role of Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

George Clooney has just dropped out of starring in Steven Soderbergh's spy drama and The Playlist reports Warner Bros has its sights on a host of big names to star in the project to play Napoleon and his sidekick Illya Kuryakin.

Actors being considered include Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm, Russell Crowe, Robert Pattinson, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and Brad Pitt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and Alexander Skarsgard have also been linked to the film.

But Inglorious Basterds star Fassbender recently worked with Soderbergh on his thriller Haywire and after winning the award for best actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in Steve McQueen's Shame is currently hot property.

Playlist reports Fassbender and Joel Kinnaman, the Swedish star of AMC's homicide detective show The Killing, are currently the director's ideal pairing.

David McCallum played Illya in the 60s TV series, who learned from his partnership with veteran Napoleon, played by Robert Vaughn, as they worked together at fictitious secret international espionage and law-enforcement agency U.N.C.L.E.

Warner Bros has been trying to get the film off the ground for several years, and the project is expected to give the story a "fresh start", reportedly focusing on making it a buddy movie between the two spies.

And younger actors would be preferred as they hope to make the film a franchise.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie is scheduled to start production in February 2012.