Retirement means different things to different people, and for Steven Soderbergh it means creating another TV series. The Oscar-winning filmmaker is executive producing, along with “Out of Sight” writer Scott Frank and producer Casey Silver, a new one-hour drama for Netflix entitled “Godless.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the limited series — i.e., one that’s not intended to go past a single season (though that definition changes all the time, thanks largely to Ryan Murphy and “True Detective”) — is a Western set in 1884, and will be shot in Santa Fe, NM.
Whether or not Soderbergh will direct is unknown, but if he chooses to stay in an executive producer role it’ll match his current television strategy of partnering with other filmmakers. Currently, Soderbergh is overseeing Starz’s upcoming series “The Girlfriend Experience,” which is written and directed by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan and will take an anthology approach to its exploration of the world of high-class escorting.
It’s also alleged that if Cinemax’s “The Knick” (the first two seasons of which were directed by Soderbergh) returns for a third season, Soderbergh will seek out a different filmmaker to take over directing duties. (Though plans there are still in development.)
No matter what, the idea of a Soderbergh-led Western should be exciting for fans of period dramas — or drama in general, especially in a longform format. While we make our jokes about Soderbergh and his definition of retirement, he isn’t shy about making it clear why he’s been so creatively inspired by the television world lately.
“It’s just fun to play on a canvas that’s that shape where you kind of have time to let things breathe a little bit and develop, and there isn’t this sort of urgency to jam the narrative into a two hour slot,” he said at the TCA Winter Press Tour this year. “So when you combine that with the sort of atmosphere creatively that exists right now in television, which it is one of real excitement and enthusiasm and sort of fearlessness, it’s just right now if you’re just interested in telling stories, it’s a really good space to be working in. So I’m just kind of following the fun, you know. This has just been more fun.”