Steven Soderbergh’s Schedule Before Retiring: MAGIC MIKE, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., LIBERACE

     June 15, 2011

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Steven Soderbergh is retiring from filmmaking soon, and I will weep when he does.  But the director puts the move in the proper perspective:

“I’m still following my plan. I’ve been stupid about it, I should have kept my mouth shut, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything that unusual about it. By the time I finish with the series of projects I’m planning, it will be 26 or 27 films. That’s plenty and if you take volume over quality, I’m twice as good as Kubrick.”

Indeed, there are five more Soderbergh movies to come.  Contagion opens on October 21 and earlier today Relativity announced a January 12, 2012 release for Haywire.  In September, he’ll start work on Magic Mike, which casts Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer as male strippers (finally!).  The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starring frequent collaborator George Clooney is up next with a February 2012 start date.  The final project on Soderbergh’s to-do list is Liberace, led by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.  More quotes from Soderbergh after the jump:

Soderbergh elaborated on his motivation to Deadline:
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“I’m not better at things that I’ve been trying to get at and I find it frustrating… [I’m trying to discover] a new grammar, maybe. I haven’t quite figured out what it is. In lieu of some gigantic epiphany I might feel when I see this new thing I imagine is out there, I feel like I am out of ideas. I find myself saying, I’ve done this shot before. Or, I’ve solved this problem before by doing the same thing I’m doing now. I don’t like that feeling of, ‘I’ve done this.’ If you are dealing within the confines of traditional narrative filmmaking, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in a box after awhile.”

I often refer to myself as a structure geek.  I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I do believe “structure geek” is virtually synonymous with “Steven Soderberg fan,” such that I find great pleasure in something like The Good German.  The joy of Soderbergh is his willingness to try any novel technique, so I have to support his decision if he feels the well is dry.  Although, he does offer this glimmer of hope:

“Maybe this turns out to be an extended sabbatical, where I recharge myself, but I need an extended break.”

Regarding what we can expect from his upcoming movies, Soderbergh contrasts Contagion (led by a high-profile ensemble including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law) and Haywire (anchored by acting novice Gina Carano):

“I think it might be best for Haywire to follow Contagion, which is the kind of film people like to see me make. It’s in the vein of Traffic, an entertaining multi-layered story about something timely right now. Because Gina has never been in a movie before, being able to draft off Contagion will be very good. We knew she could do the right stuff, but she really delivers as a screen presence. She looks comfortable, and then she tears these guys in half.”

Four months until Contagion, so we should get a trailer soon.


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