Back in March, we reported that the Magic Mike sequel will be entitled Magic Mike XXL, with original director Steven Soderbergh's longtime assistant Gregory Jacobs stepping in to take the helm. While many fans hoped that Steven Soderbergh would return from his self-imposed retirement to direct the sequel himself, the filmmaker confirmed in an interview with GQ that he will still be a part of the production as a camera operator, director of photography and the editor.
Here's what he had to say about wanting to stay involved with the production, without taking the helm.
"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."
"It's super complicated, in my opinion, why he wanted to stop doing film. I lobbied probably harder than anybody else - we had many, many nights of heated debate. I was, 'I don't fucking get it! Why?' And he's like, 'I don't need it.'"
Channing Tatum also offered the first plot details of the sequel, revealing that it was a story he actually pitched to Steven Soderbergh for the first Magic Mike, that follows a group of male exotic dancers on a road trip as they descend upon two massive stripper conventions. While the director said the idea was "too big" for the first movie, it will now be turned into the sequel. Here's what producer and writer Reid Carolin had to say about the first idea Channing Tatum pitched to him about his male stripper days.
"I want to do the story of when I'm in a dark U-Haul with a bunch of these guys and we're doing drugs driving up to the stripper convention."
Channing Tatum described one of the conventions he attended in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he and hundreds of other strippers danced for over 3,000 women.
"The women would come from miles and miles around. Then you lock the doors and you say all bets are off. It gets zany and crazy, and it's a wild ride. It's an incubator for insanity. It doesn't matter almost what you do onstage. I don't want to put anything in black and white on a page, but if you've been to one, you know how crazy it gets, and now pour kerosene on that. You've seen Magic Mike - now multiply that. Mob mentality. It's just exponentially crazier. I thought it was absolutely insane."
He also talked about how crazy the other strippers were at these conventions, and how lucky he was that he didn't become addicted to drugs or get anyone pregnant as a 19-year-old dancer.
"They're just so out there you're in an alternate reality. Even as a 19-year-old kid, I just couldn't believe this world I was in. These guys, some of them are really cool, some of them are completely, like, hippies, some are completely meatheads and steroid-crazy freakazoids, other ones are stuck in the '80s, and some of them are an everyday Joe that has a construction job, and some of them are businessmen. One guy was an attorney during the day. There's so much salacious and dangerous stuff going on around you, but it's fun at the same time, as a 19-year-old kid-money, women, a good time. I'm lucky-I don't have a drug addiction, I didn't get anyone pregnant. I probably got really lucky."
The actor admits that he wasn't "a choirboy" during his stripper days.
"No. Not at all. When you're in the world, you don't want to be that guy. And it was part of the allure-I wanted to walk on the wild side for a second."
It isn't known when production will begin on Magic Mike XXL, which has already been given a July 3, 2015 release date.