Steven Soderbergh Compares ‘Magic Mike 3’ to ‘All That Jazz,’ Doesn’t Rule Out Theatrical Release

The Oscar winner is returning to direct "Magic Mike's Last Dance" after sitting out "Magic Mike XXL."
Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh

The “Magic Mike” franchise has never shied away from subverting fan expectations. When Channing Tatum first announced his plans to make a movie about his life as a male stripper, many expected it to be some kind of overly sexualized, gender-flipped version of “Showgirls.” Instead, Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh delivered a relatively grounded, character-driven drama. Then when it was time to make a sequel, Tatum once again flipped the franchise on its head and delivered the ridiculous stripper movie that many thought the first one would be.

When it was announced that Tatum and Soderbergh would be reteaming for a third movie titled “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” everyone knew to expect the unexpected. So fans shouldn’t be surprised that the new film takes inspiration from Bob Fosse.

Speaking to Variety, Soderbergh described “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” as “a variation on ‘All That Jazz.’” Much of the sequel is inspired by Tatum’s experience working on the “Magic Mike Live” show, so it makes sense that the film would resemble Fosse’s autobiographical musical about balancing his film and theatre directing careers.

This isn’t the first time that the creative team has compared “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” to a classic film. In a recent interview, Channing Tatum said that the plot of the threequel is inspired by another classic sex work film.

“We’re kind of swinging for the fences — there never needs to be another stripper movie after this one,” Tatum said. “We’re trying to do a fish-out-of-water story where it’s a reverse-role ‘Pretty Woman’ story that ends up with a lot of dancing in it.”

“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is currently scheduled to premiere exclusively on HBO Max, but Soderbergh has been open about his desire to see a theatrical release. And the Oscar winner still thinks that Warner Bros. might be persuaded to give him one.

“We’re talking about it,” Soderbergh said. “It’s certainly hard to argue that this isn’t a movie that’s best seen in a theater, because we have the data. People, primarily women, were going in packs, in large groups, to see the ‘Magic Mike’ movies.”

He reminded fans that nothing is official yet, but conversations with the studio about turning the film into a larger event are ongoing.

“That’s the discussion with Warners right now — can we eventize this?,” he said. “And if so, should we put it out theatrically?”

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