Director Matthew Vaughn turned down the opportunity to helm CASINO ROYALE - the 21st James Bond movie - because he wants to bring cult 1960s TV series THE MAN FROM Uncle to the big screen.

The Layer Cake film-maker, who is married to German supermodel CLAUDIA SCHIFFER, came very close to taking on the prestigious project but dropped out when the production was delayed by a year.

The 33-year-old says, "I came very close to doing it - as close as you can get. I was offered it by the studio, but then circumstances meant it was pushed back by a year."

GOLDENEYE director Martin Campbell has since been confirmed as his replacement, but Vaughn plans to give 007 some serious competition with his new script.

He continues, "We're writing it at the moment. We're totally trying to reinvent the whole genre. I'm a real Bondaholic, but I think The Man From UNCLE will show Bond a few things."

Vaughn agreed to direct the Warner BROS movie because he grew up believing the 1960s show's star Robert Vaughn was his father until recent tests proved his biological dad is English aristocrat GEORGE DE VERE DRUMMOND.

17/02/2005 21:41