Like in the Ocean movies, Soderbergh dives into the detail-oriented process of pulling off a heist while keeping the tone nimble. Also, this time he's gambling with house money. For his comeback movie since "retiring" from filmmaking in 2011, which led to a brilliant stint directing Cinemax's grisly medical drama The Knick, he worked outside of the major studio system by selling off overseas distribution rights before a second of Logan Lucky was in the can.
“The question is this,” he told the New York Times in a recent interview. “Can you do what the studios normally do from a wide distribution standpoint, only with a lot fewer resources — spending on marketing — and with a much better economic structure for the people who actually made the film?”
Even in the world outside the studio system, what's the most effective way to get a return on an investment? Launch a franchise. While we've yet to see the box office returns for Logan Lucky, which is budgeted around $29 million, and the film is hardly conventional sequel-fodder, there are certainly elements of the ending that leave the movie open for another crime in the Logan family's future.
(Warning: Spoilers for the ending of Logan Lucky follow.)
For all the big names featured in the cast, there's one performer who has not appeared in any of the film's promotional material: two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank. In a role that's somewhere between a supporting part and a cameo, the Million Dollar Baby star shows up in the final stretch of the film playing Special Agent Sarah Grayson, a hard-nosed investigator looking into the robbery of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This part of the movie stretches out for a bit. It's not quite like Samuel L. Jackson dropping by for the very last scene of Out of Sight. Swank, along with her partner played by filmmaker Macon Blair, gets time to cook. Her scenes almost feels like the beginning of a different movie.
Though she doesn't crack the case -- instead, like in Ocean's Eleven, we learn Jimmy got away with the money through an elaborate flashback sequence -- she does make an appearance at Clyde's bar at the end of the movie. She orders a drink. She eyes the team of criminals across the way from her. It's not exactly a Marvel-esque cliffhanger, but it definitely ends the film on a fun open-ended note. Could she be a major character in Logan Lucky XXL? With Soderbergh and the Logan family, there's really no telling where things could go.