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Bradley Cooper may cry ‘U.N.C.L.E.’

'Hangover' thesp offered the Napoleon Solo role his CAA team fought for

After a whirlwind casting search that has seen Matt Damon and Johnny Depp pass on the lead role vacated by George Clooney, Bradley Cooper has emerged as Steven Soderbergh’s choice to star in Warner Bros.’ spy pic “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Cooper currently has an offer to play Napoleon Solo, and the opportunity to work with Soderbergh is one that Cooper is likely to accept, considering how hard his team at CAA worked to position him for the coveted part.

Once he wraps “The Silver Linings Playbook” for director David O. Russell and The Weinstein Company, Cooper will segue into Alex Proyas’ “Paradise Lost” for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. He’s expected to wrap that big-budget epic by March, at which time he’d move directly to “U.N.C.L.E.,” which Soderbergh intends to direct before helming a Liberace biopic for HBO.

Cooper is a fixture on the Warner Bros. lot, having starred in the studio’s blockbuster “Hangover” franchise. He recently wrapped a pair of indies, “The Words” and “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Cooper, who plays Lucifer in “Paradise Lost” opposite Benjamin Walker, helped power Relativity Media’s “Limitless” to a $156 million worldwide gross.