During the Contagion press conference, Steven Soderbergh blamed Matt Damon for starting the rumors of his retirement. Once the press conference wrapped, I got close to Soderbergh for some follow-up questions, including an update on his action movie Haywire starring Gina Carano, and a definitive confirmation that he’s still working.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following interview took place before George Clooney dropped out of Man from U.N.C.L.E., so Mr. Soderbergh's comments about that production may, or may not, be up to date.]
CraveOnline: With Haywire, how did you like directing fight choreography?
Steven Soderbergh: I liked it. I liked it. When you see it, you’ll see if my approach was the right approach.
CraveOnline: Is that a very cinematic style? We haven’t really seen MMA in a non-sports movie.
Steven Soderbergh: Yeah. Oh yeah. Absolutely. A lot of her fighting style is built on Muay Thai which is a very interesting active all-purpose style of fighting. A lot of legs and she’s really strong.
CraveOnline: Do you think we’re going to see more movie stars come out of the MMA world?
Steven Soderbergh: I think it depends on the material. You’ve got to have a good narrative to hook them into so that’s why we spent a lot of time trying to come up with a screenplay that worked on its own terms and wasn’t just reliant upon casting a fighter.
CraveOnline: What could keep you from seriously considering retirement?
Steven Soderbergh: Oh, I don’t know. The next 18 months are going to be very, very, very busy. We start the Channing [Tatum] male stripper movie in three weeks. We’re doing Man from U.N.C.L.E. in February, Liberace in June so there’s a lot going on.
Photo Credit: Johnny Louis/WENN