Los Angeles: George Clooney will not be playing the lead role in Steven Soderberg's 'The Man from UNCLE'.

The 50-year-old star, who has worked with Soderbergh in several hits, including 'Solaris', 'The Good German' and the 'Oceans' series, exited the project for undisclosed reasons, according to reports.

Despite Clooney's departure, Warner Bros Pictures is determined to stay on their schedule and begin production on the film in February 2012.

The film's story is based on 'The Spy With My Face', which starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum and was released in 1965.

Besides 'The man from UNCLE', Soderbergh is preparing to release his thriller 'Contagion' - which stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow - on September 9.

He is also working on female-centered action 'Haywire' and male stripper drama 'Magic Mike'.