While he’s still retired from film, it looks like Steven Soderbergh is getting everything he needs creatively from television. In August his Cinemax series “The Knick” will kick off, and the filmmaker now has another small screen project on the way, inspired by one of his more off-the-beaten-path films.
Released in 2009, “The Girlfriend Experience” was the second (and final) of a planned series of six low-budget films that would be released in theaters and on home video simultaneously. It was an interesting gambit, but not a lucrative one, and that’s likely why the series of films with Mark Cuban‘s 2929 Entertainment ultimately tanked. But it did give us this film, starring former porn star Sasha Grey, in a patient narrative that follows an upscale escort as she visits her clients and as they share their various personal crises and woes. It wasn’t flashy or even stereotypically sexy (which might have thrown off those used to Grey’s other….work…) but if you liked the premise, Starz has more for you.
The network has ordered a 13-episode series based on “The Girlfriend Experience,” with Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman producing. Even more, they’ve nabbed Lodge Kerrigan (“Keane,” “Clean, Shaven“) and Amy Seimetz (“Sun Don’t Shine“) to write and direct. And what will the thirteen episodes be about? “We’re in an exciting period of auteur-driven television right now. When Philip floated the idea of a ‘Girlfriend Experience’-inspired television show, I thought: ‘Let’s make it a different woman in a different city, let’s pair two independent writer-directors, one male and one female, and let them do the whole thing.’ I’ve known Lodge for 20 years and I became a fan of Amy’s when I saw her first feature last summer,” he explained in a statement via THR.
Sounds good to us and we’re glad to see Kerrigan get such an expanded creative function in a project—it’s been a while. And with TV providing plenty of opportunities, why does Soderbergh need to go back to film?