Soderbergh And Channing Tatum Slip Stripper Pic Into Their Schedule

The (increasingly) accepted wisdom was that Stephen Soderbergh only had two more movies to get into production, a biopic of Liberace and a big-screen version of The Man from UNCLE, before hanging up his megaphone for good. As much as I was starting to believe this, I was wondering what was to happen to the various other films he’d promised us, a couple of low-to-no-budget films for producer Mark Cuban, spiritual (and contractual) sequels to Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience.

I still have no idea about those cheapies, but I’m happy to see it announced tonight that Soderbergh has freshly announced his intent to film Magic Mike this autumn.

The film will see the director reunited with his Haywire collaborator Channing Tatum. Indeed, the project pretty much belongs to Tatum, being based on events from his life and coming to life through the actor’s efforts. Tatum first revealed his plans for this project over a year ago, to The Sydney Morning Herald:

Tatum says he has so much material that could be used as background, he plans to make a film about a male stripper.

“I’ve already got the director picked out. I’d like Nicolas Refn, who did the movie Bronson, to do it because he’s insane for it,” he says.

“It needs to be a crazy film and I think it’s also possible to do a cute, romantic movie.”

It would seem he’s traded up to Soderbergh in the meantime.

As to whether the film will be crazy or cute and romantic, Soderbergh himself offers the following:

When Channing talked to me about this, I thought it was one of the best ideas I’d ever heard for a movie. I said I wanted in immediately. It’s sexy, funny and shocking. We’re using Saturday Night Fever as our model, so hopefully we’re on the right track.

Though there’s no date for the film to start shooting, it looks like Liberace will come before, UNCLE will come after. Reid Carolin (not to be confused with Carol Reed, no matter what my subconscious says) will write the script.

Soderbergh has recently completed additional shooting for Haywire and has a few days of extra shots for Contagion to pick up, both of those films expected in cinemas by Christmas. Are these just the fatty years before the lean? Will he really give up the director’s chair for good?

Selfishly, I really hope not.