Steven Soderbergh may have retired from film directing, but his alter egos Peter Andrews and Mary Ann Bernard are still working steadily in the industry. As GQ’s new profile of Channing Tatum reveals, Soderbergh will be filling three key crew positions on the Gregory Jacobs-directed sequel to his 2012 hit Magic Mike, serving as the film’s director of photography, primary camera operator, and editor. He won’t be telling Channing Tatum what to do, though, because that would be considered directing, which is something Steven Soderbergh doesn’t do anymore.
The most successful one-man band in Hollywood history, Soderbergh has served as his own director of photography and camera operator on every project starting with Traffic (2000). Though often self-deprecating about his camerawork (“I’m not Emmanuel Lubezki, but I’m quick and I’m cheap”), the cinematographer-director has had a tremendous impact on Hollywood filmmaking; Traffic’s color-coded narratives spawned plenty of unsightly imitators, and Soderbergh’s work in the late 2000s helped establish the Red camera as an industry standard. He has also edited many of his own films, including the original Magic Mike.
Magic Mike XXL will mark the first time that Soderbergh has shot a project for someone else. His Cinemax series, The Knick (which he also presumably shot and edited), will premiere in August.