Despite having retired from directing last year, Steven Soderbergh has been busier than ever and continues adding new projects to his resume. Shortly after announcing that Side Effects would be his last film, he made Behind the Candleabra for HBO, and has a 10-part miniseries called The Knick that arrives on Cinemax this August. He also directed a stage play, and has taken to editing in his spare time, helping out with Spike Jonze’s Her, releasing new cuts of his past films like Heaven’s Gate: The Butcher’s Cut, and making video edits of his own, like this Alfred Hitchcock/Gus Van Sant Psychos mash-up.
Now, the ever-prolific “former” filmmaker is jumping on board the production of the Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike XXL. His longtime first assistant director, Greg Jacobs, will be in the director’s chair this time around, but Soderbergh will still be heavily involved in the production, acting as cinematographer, camera operator and editor.
The news come straight from the film’s star and co-writer, Channing Tatum, who was interviewed by GQ and said the following:
“It’s super complicated, in my opinion, why he wanted to stop doing film. I lobbied probably harder than anybody else—we had many, many nights of heated debate. I was, ‘I don’t fucking get it! Why?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t need it.’” However, Soderbergh will be back to not only be the camera operator, but director of photography, as well as editor. Soderbergh says, “I want to be there, but I don’t want to be the director. I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don’t want to be the frontman this time.”
As a big Soderbergh fan, I’m totally okay with this trade-off and am thrilled to see that he’s sticking around and continuing to work in the industry, even if he won’t be directing. He’s such a very talented and inspired filmmaker and we should be grateful that he’s keeping himself busy during his supposed “retirement.”
Magic Mike XXL begins filming in the Fall and will hit theaters on July 3rd, 2015.