Exclusive: “Haywire” is set to hit theaters in just over a week, “Magic Mike” will land in cinemas this summer, and Steven Soderbergh will spend 2012 shooting two movies: the long-developing Liberace biopic “Behind The Candelabra” and, this spring, the thriller “The Side Effects.” So needless to say, Steven Soderbergh is busy, and when we sat down to talk with him today, he told us that’s just how he likes it.
“I get better results when I work quickly, I’m prone to overthink things if I’m allowed to and at a certain point in my career I decided I need to treat it more like a sport. I need to react to things quickly and make decisions and move on,” Soderbergh said, adding, “I don’t have gears. I just have an on/off switch.”
So with casting already beginning on “The Side Effects,” a thriller that Channing Tatum, Blake Lively and Jude Law are set to sign on to, Soderbergh already has a release date in mind for the movie, and it will be less than a year after the project goes in front of cameras this April. The director, who sometimes referred to the Scott Z. Burns-scripted thriller by its earlier title “The Bitter Pill,” told us, “…it’s not supposed come out until next March.”
But before then, we’ll be getting male stripper film “Magic Mike,” another interesting change in direction for Soderbergh, whose career has been defined by constant creative curiosity. “You’re always looking for a new world, and I just hadn’t seen this, that’s why I thought it was a good idea,” he said about taking on the movie. Concieved, starring and co-produced by Tatum, with a script by Reid Carolin, the film rounds up an impressive cast — including Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and more — to tell the story of an experienced stripper (Tatum) who teaches a younger dancer (Pettyfer) how to hustle his wares on stage and off at the exotic club Xquisite, run by Dallas (McConaughey). And while it sounds like a wild big screen experience, Soderberg revealed a tone and inspiration you’d likely not expect.
“There’s a sweetness to it that I think will surprise people,” Soderbergh said. “It’s not a dark movie, it’s a comedy more than anything else. It’s a buddy movie in a way, it’s just a weird buddy movie. It’s a buddy movie in which people are not wearing their clothes.”
As it was coming together, comparisons to “Saturday Night Fever” were being made, but it will have an altogther different kind of vibe. “It’s funny in the way that [Robert] Altman movies are funny,” Soderbergh explained further about the tone of the film, saying “It has that feel to it” of the backstage dramas and overlapping stories typically found in Altman’s work.
But between the vegeance thriller that stars Gina Carano and the upcoming male stripper pic with Tatum, the Academy Award-winning director will shoot “The Side Effects.” Previously reported as a film that Summit Entertainment would release, Soderbergh confirmed our report earlier in the week that Annapurna Pictures would be ponying up the dough to produce the film. “Yeah, financing just locked today,” he said, noting that all of the aforementioned cast would be formally announced as soon as their deals were complete. It also means the supporting cast — there are a handful of meaty characters — will begin to get firmed up as well.
“Haywire” opens on January 20th. Much more from our interview soon. — Interview by RP