Steven Soderbergh describes Thandiwe Netwon’s Magic Mike exit

“At a certain point you have to surrender to what the cinema gods want for you,” Soderbergh said after Salma Hayek replaced Pinault in April 2022.

Steven Soderbergh had to pull Magic Mike’s Last Dance off after Thandiwe Newton’s exit.

Newton was set to co-direct the film with Channing Tatum, who is also an executive producer on the franchise. However, Newton parted ways with the production in April 2022 to “deal with family matters,” as initially announced by The Hollywood Reporter. Salma Hayek Pinault was later cast for the role.

Director Soderbergh revealed that despite the numerous rumors surrounding the “real reason” for Newton’s departure, it’s still a “private” matter.

“Nothing I’ve ever seen was accurate and there’s really no benefit to anyone involved in litigating or digging up this because I consider it private,” Soderbergh told Rolling Stone. “Everything I saw publicly was wrong. I don’t think anyone sees any benefit in going through this publicly. It becomes something you cannot control. For now, keeping it private means that we can all control it, and I think that should be it for now.”

However, Newton’s exit meant that some plot points of “Last Dance” had to be changed. For example, the character’s daughter was cast as a Newton lookalike; The updated script instead mentioned that she was adopted by Hayek Pinault.

“We had to refine that one aspect, but I think it fitted the dynamic she has with her daughter and led to one of my favorite lines in the whole film – when she says ‘mama.’ Now I look at it and I think that’s how it always should have been,” said Soderbergh. “We had to recalibrate. No question. We all spent hours and hours in rooms rebuilding it, rethinking it, making it specific. At a certain point you have to surrender to what the cinema gods want for you. You really do.”

And don’t expect Magic Mike to actually strip in this movie.

“There is no nudity in ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance.’ There’s not even a thong,” Soderbergh said of the Warner Bros. film. “And yet our desire was to make a sexy film. What is sexy is intimacy and genuine emotion. Something that feels alive and electric with the potential for vulnerability. That can be sexy. You’re letting someone in your heart, and that’s scary. You can hurt yourself. The really radical thing to do right now seems to me, as opposed to showing the beginning of a relationship when there’s all this heat and light because of attraction – that’s easy – is to show people who have been for 20 years are married to whom this still applies. Where you don’t even make a big deal out of it. They’ve been together for 20 years and they’re still that into each other.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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