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Steven Soderbergh Says He Demanded to Make Third ‘Magic Mike,’ Still Hopes for Theatrical Release

Soderbergh said he's calling the shots on "Magic Mike's Last Dance" — and still wants to make a theatrical release happen despite a slated HBO Max premiere.

"Magic Mike"

“Magic Mike”

Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Dancing on demand? Sounds a little familiar for “Magic Mike.”

Director Steven Soderbergh said that the third — and presumably final — “Magic Mike” film was due to his urging.

“This third one was being made at my demand,” Soderbergh, who didn’t direct the sequel film “Magic Mike XXL,” told Thrillist. “I was the one that said, ‘I want to do this, and here’s what I want to do.'”

Star and co-creator Channing Tatum previously admitted to Variety that he had no interest in reprising his former stripper role, especially after the “Magic Mike Live” show and a four-year acting hiatus. “I didn’t want to,” Tatum said. “My live show was the third one. We chewed all the meat off that — no pun intended.”

While Soderbergh was developing his own “Magic Mike” Broadway musical, he previously said he was inspired by the live show’s theme of deconstructing female desire. “I said we’ve got to do another film,” Soderbergh recalled. “I know exactly what it is!”

Hence, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” was born.

“Conversations with Channing about this universe are more complex than a typical actor, director, filmmaker relationship because we co-created this whole thing together,” Soderbergh added to Thrillist. “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.”

“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is slated to premiere on HBO Max, but Soderbergh is still eying a theatrical release of some kind.

“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,” the “Kimi” director 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.”

 Soderbergh added, “Do a GuyMAX release, and put it on a giant screen.”

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