Coronavirus lockdown has been particularly productive for director Steven Soderbergh. The filmmaker, during a Tuesday appearance on a YouTube show, revealed he’s written three screenplays while sheltering in place at his New York home, including a sequel to the 1989 film that brought him to prominence, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.”
Soderbergh revealed the news on Flaviar’s “NightCap Live,” where he was promoting his Bolivian spirit brand Singani 63. But it wasn’t all talk about booze — Soderbergh delivered when a viewer asked him to tease his future projects.
“During the lockdown I’ve done more sustained writing than I’ve done since the summer of 1985,” he said. “When the lockdown happened here in New York, in order to stay organized and sane, I decided I’m going to write, I’ve got to go back to writing. Within the first six or seven weeks of the lockdown I finished three different screenplays: One of them was a rewrite, one of them was an original, and one of them was an adaptation of a novel … the original was a sequel to ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape.’ It was an idea that was circling for a while and I think I came up with a way to get back, so I wrote it and I want to make it.”
“Sex, Lies, and Videotape” was among Soderbergh’s first films and was the movie that put him on the map. It won Cannes’ Palme d’Or after its Sundance debut. Its success represented a key moment for independent film with its critical acclaim and financial success for distributor Miramax, helping establish Sundance as a go-to goldmine for promising projects.
He went on to make such acclaimed films as the Best Picture-nominated “Erin Brockovich,” “Traffic,” which won him on Oscar for Best Director; the “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy, and “Contagion.”
Soderbergh revealed that the adapted screenplay he wrote during lockdown is based on David Levien’s “City of the Sun,” the first in a series of crime novels written by the “Ocean’s 13” co-writer.
“I asked David some years ago if I could adapt the first of the four novels that he wrote around this character. He said ‘sure,’ and I started and then stopped, and then during the lockdown started over again and then finished it,” Soderbergh said. “We’ll see what happens now, but it’s a great book.”