Steven Soderbergh has to be one of the most fascinating filmmakers working today—maybe ever. Not only is he insanely talented, but he’s incredibly versatile and ambitious, moving seamlessly from experimental films like Bubble to big, commercial capers like Ocean’s 13. This is the same guy was up against himself for the Best Director Oscar for Traffic and Erin Brockovich—that alone speaks volumes about his range. In keeping with his curious nature, Soderbergh opted to retire from moviemaking altogether a few years ago, going out with the triple threat of Magic Mike, Side Effects, and Behind the Candleabra, which premiered on HBO.
Soderbergh didn’t give up directing entirely, though, as he quickly signed on to helm every episode of the excellent Cinemax series The Knick. Currently in post-production on the second season, however, it appears that Soderbergh has another trick up his sleeve: a secret movie at HBO.
A number of outlets, including EW, are reporting today that Soderbergh is gearing up to begin production next month on Mosaic, a wholly unique project that will star Sharon Stone and Garrett Hedlund. What’s so different about this film? Well, it’s being designed as an entirely interactive experience, as Soderbergh will shoot multiple endings and let the viewer decide what the outcome will be via an app. This isn’t an entirely new concept, as the underrated Clue sent multiple endings to theaters so audiences saw one of four possible endings each time they saw the film, but it’s certainly a curious marriage of art and technology for the modern age.
Soderbergh broke his silence on the project this afternoon in characteristically cheeky fashion:
“I believe the good people at HBO are genuinely enthusiastic about Mosaic for two reasons: first, it represents a fresh way of experiencing a story and sharing that experience with others; second, it will require a new Emmy category, and we will be the only eligible nominee.”
So, yeah, Soderbergh is “retired”, but only in the sense that he’s not making theatrically released studio films anymore. It’s pretty great of HBO to allow Soderbergh this opportunity, though one wishes they’d have been equally ambitious in discussions with Soderbergh’s friend David Fincher about his two potential series at the network, both of which completely broke down earlier this year over budget and creative disputes.
Regardless, Soderbergh is expected to start filming Mosaic next month after completing editing on The Knick Season 2. He works very fast, so I expect we’ll see this groundbreaking new film on HBO in 2016.