Magic Mike 2

Let’s get right down to it, while Channing Tatum has said the entire cast would be back, Dallas, aka Matthew McConaughey, won’t return for the “Magic Mike” sequel. We spoke to “Magic Mike XXLdirector Greg Jacobs this week about his new Amazon pilot, “Red Oaks,” and the filmmaker, known for producing many of Steven Soderbergh’s films, including his current series “The Knick,” confirmed to us that McConaughey will not be back.

And while cameras have rolled on the “Magic Mike” sequel—you’ll recall Soderbergh posting slates on Twitter over Labor Day weekend—Jacobs told us that was just second unit footage and the real shoot doesn't begin until the end of the month. Much of the cast—Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello—will reprise their roles, but it’s unknown beyond that who else is returning, and Jacobs said he couldn’t say much more.

But the filmmaker—who will have Soderbergh acting as his director of cinematography, camera operator and editor—said ‘XXL’ will be “very different.” “What am I allowed to say?” he said with a pause. “It’s road trip movie and put it this way, it’s different enough that once you see it you’ll understand why we made a sequel. No one will be accusing us of making the same movie twice.”

Jacobs says new cast members will join the fold, too, but because those deals aren’t closed he wasn’t at liberty to say who. Many have quipped that with Soderbergh shooting the film and editing it, “Magic Mike XXL” will be the Peter Andrews/Mary Ann Bernard show (Sodbergh’s sobriquets when acting as DP or editor), but Jacobs doesn’t see it that way. Acting as Soderbergh’s First AD and producer for over a decade, they’ve created a brother-like creative shorthand. It was Soderbergh, in fact, who encouraged him to direct the sequel and to go out and turn “Red Oaks” from an indie comedy into a full-fledged TV show.

It’s clear Jacobs isn’t worried about anyone taking over. In fact, he’s looking forward to his longtime colleague to be by his side. “I wish I could get a good DP,” he quipped. “I think it’s going to be really fun. I mean, I’m on set every day when we’re shooting [Steven’s projects] as it is. We’re constantly suggesting stuff to each other. It’s really intimate and collaborative and it always has been. So I think it’ll be a lot of fun. We already shot some second unit stuff which was a total blast. I think it’s going to be a good time.”

Co-written by Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum, “Magic Mike XXL” opens July 1, 2015. More from this interview about Jacobs’ “Red Oaks,” a coming of age series directed by David Gordon Green, and more, coming soon.—Interview by Rodrigo Perez.