The Third 'Magic Mike' Is Happening at Steven Soderbergh's Demand

The director also talks about his idea for a theatrical 'GuyMax' release.

magic mike
Warner Bros. Pictures

After the first Magic Mike film was released in 2012, Steven Soderbergh announced he was retiring from directing films. He sort of took a break from helming the franchise for Magic Mike XXL—his longtime AD Gregory Jacobs directed and Soderbergh both served as cinematographer and editor under pseudonyms. But now, he's back in the director's chair for the announced threequel, titled Magic Mike's Last Dance, and taking charge.

"This third one was being made at my demand," he told Thrillist during an interview discussing his new film Kimi, out on HBO Max February 10. "I was the one that said, 'I want to do this, and here's what I want to do.'" According to Soderbergh, the collaboration with Channing Tatum on any sort of Magic Mike project is different from what typically happens when he reunites with an actor for a project, as he has recently with the likes of Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, and Erika Christensen.

"Conversations with Channing about this universe are more complex than a typical actor, director, filmmaker relationship because we co-created this whole thing together," he explained. "I'm not able to just unilaterally tell him what to do because he created it with me. It's a conversation. I may say, 'This is what I want to accomplish,' and he'll either go, 'Oh, I love that,' or he'll go, 'Oh, well, what if X?' I can't jam him on stuff, and he can't jam me on stuff. Except for the fact that I don't know what a sexy dance looks like."

While we didn't get into any details as to what Tatum's impossibly charming exotic dancer Mike Lane will be up to this time, I did ask Soderbergh about plans to release the new Magic Mike on HBO Max—despite the fact that the communal experience has become a beloved part of this franchise, which also spawned a Las Vegas stage show. And while Last Dance will stream in the U.S., at least at first, Soderbergh wouldn't rule out a theatrical run.

"I think if I can execute what we're thinking, I know they're going to look at it and see that it has theatrical potential," he said. "There's nothing to say that you couldn't invert the sequencing. If the movie performs really, really well on the platform, do a limited 25-city tour in theaters. There's nothing that says you can't do that."

He even has a concept in mind: "Do a GuyMAX release, and put it on a giant screen." Like, IMAX. Get it? We're there.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.