Nobody quite expected "Magic Mike," last year's working class drama based loosely around star Channing Tatum's time as a male stripper, to be quite as unbelievably awesome as it was. But it really was amazing — a drama that informed the passing populace about a niche subculture in the same way "Saturday Night Fever" or "American Gigolo" did before it, directed beautifully by Steven Soderbergh and anchored by a performance that secured Tatum's place as one of America's greatest treasures, along with the Hoover Dam and the idea to combine chicken and waffles on one delicious plate.
While original director Steven Soderbergh is seeking (temporary, we hope) retirement, that doesn't mean plans aren't still running ahead on the sequel. Tatum, while talking up this week's explosi-o-rama "White House Down" with the Hollywood Reporter, discussed the possibility of him directing the sequel and what the plot would be.
Tatum admits that he is developing the project and that he's already tried to get Soderbergh to come back from the brink. "He is a very fixed-in-his-ways guy, and if he says it, it is hard to change."
Still, Tatum might direct it, either alongside his writing/producing partner Reid Carolin (who wrote the first movie), or solo. "Right now, we're just trying to clean up the story, and then we'll make a decision," Tatum told the Hollywood Reporter. "But it is hard for me and Reid to direct after one of the greatest directors of our time."
Still, Tatum admits that even if Soderbergh didn't direct it, he could still be a part of the movie. "Steven has argued [for us to do so]. He has said he would shoot it; he would DP it," Tatum said. But even that makes him nervous. "And there's another thing: Is that good? Because he is such an opinionated and talented man, if he wants to do a five-minute tracking shot through a forest, you don't want to doubt him. It would be like having sex with your girlfriend while her porn-star ex-boyfriend is in the room watching you."
And what of the plot of "Magic Mike 2?" Might the strippers continue their adventures? Maybe setting up the first zero-G male strip club on the moon? Or perhaps they could be called upon to fight monsters in a post-apocalyptic Detroit? Oh. It's a road trip movie. Okay. That works just as well.
"It will be a road-trip movie, and it will essentially be the movie that everyone thought the first one was going to be: crazy and fun and less slice-of-life and less drama. The first one, we had to make not so cheesy and campy; this one we are going to swing for the fences."
Wait — they didn't swing for the fences in the first one?