It’s been a mildly emotional and hugely confusing morning for fans of Steven Soderbergh, arguably the best American filmmaker to come out of the 1990s, alongside P.T. Anderson, Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, Kathryn Bigelow, and David Fincher. For those who have been following Soderbergh’s career, his early “retirement” from feature film directing was a huge blow to American film culture, especially considering that he ended with at least three of his best works to date: Magic Mike, Haywire, and Behind the Candelabra, which aired on HBO. So, it’s not surprising that when, this morning, several rumors starting coming about that Soderbergh would be returning to the big screen to direct Logan Lucky, or possibly Hillbilly Heist, a heist film involving “hillbillies” that pull off a robbery during a NASCAR-type race, possibly starring Matt Damon, people started freaking out a little bit.
But let’s all cool our jets for a second here. Not long after the original Variety story was released, Soderbergh tweeted that the story was “wrong” and that “Facts are SO twentieth century…,” which suggests that he is not considering a return to major filmmaking but might be shooting or producing the project, as he did with ecstatically entertaining Magic Mike XXL. On the other hand, THR has suggested that this denial is aimed straight at the Matt Damon casting rumor, and that their sources have confirmed instead that Soderbergh is attached to the movie alongside Channing Tatum; the film is currently set up over at FilmNation for foreign sales. And beyond that, Deadline has pointed out that the film will also star Michael Shannon, although I’m not taking anything at face value with this story yet. The story of the coverage of the story is seeming to be more prime Soderbergh material than any heist film would be.
What we know right now is that Soderbergh just saw the second season of his extraordinary The Knick finished up for Cinemax, and that he expects the third season of the series to be the last involving him as director. And as excited as I would be to see the man behind Traffic, Contagion, and the mighty Che return to his rightful place behind the camera, shaping a major motion picture, it’s enough for me right now that he’s working with some of the most politically and visually daring material available on television right now. Check out another one of Soderbergh’s tweet-reactions to these stories right below.
“Yeah, good, let’s run with this Soderbergh movie thing…” pic.twitter.com/lS9dKZ61VI
— Bitchuation (@Bitchuation) February 4, 2016