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Steven Soderbergh saw one of his most financially successful movies to date with Magic Mike, with the film pulling in $113 million with a budget of just $7 million. As such, a sequel became evident, but, having retired after helming HBO's Behind the Candelabra, it was clear he would not be directing the movie.
That hasn't stopped him from doing almost everything else on the movie, however.
When profiled in GQ, Tatum revealed that the sequel, titled Magic Mike XXL, will not be having Soderbergh coming out of retirement, despite his best efforts.
"It’s super complicated, in my opinion, why he wanted to stop doing film," Tatum told them. "I lobbied probably harder than anybody else—we had many, many nights of heated debate. I was, ‘I don’t f**king get it! Why?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t need it.’"
But even though the movie will not see Soderbergh returning to the director's chair, he did reveal that he is very passionate about the project still, and will serve as the movie's camera operator, director of photography and editor, as he did for the first movie. Directing the sequel will instead be Gregory Jacobs, who has long been Soderbergh's first assistant director.
Soderbergh explained his decision by saying, “I want to be there, but I don’t want to be the director. I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don’t want to be the frontman this time.”
In addition to returning to the film as a star and a producer, Tatum will also be making his screenwriting debut on the movie alongside the original's screenwriter Reid Carolin. There was once talk that Carolin and Tatum would be directing the sequel, but those rumors settled down once Jacobs signed on as the movie's helmer.
While Soderbergh is keeping his promise as to not direct any more movies so far, he did return to the director's chair to call the shots on the new Cinemax series The Knick starring Clive Owen, which will premiere later this summer. Additionally, Tatum was recently praised at the Cannes Film Festival this week for his work in Foxcatcher and will next be seen in 22 Jump Street and Jupiter Ascending later this summer.
Magic Mike XXL is set to be released on July 3, 2015.