Steven Soderbergh on ‘Haywire’ and His Non-Retirement

The Contagion director on shooting his first action movie, Haywire, and why he's too busy to retire.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

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