By Edward Davis | The Playlist January 8, 2011 at 7:53AM
Director Says He's Absolutely Sincere About Retirement, Wants To Do 'Liberace' & 'Man From U.N.C.L.E' First
Let's keep part of this brief. We reported that Steven Soderbergh's upcoming spy action-thriller, "Haywire," starring MMA fighter Gina Carano, was hitting theaters April 22, 2011 late last year. In case you had any doubts, and or to be Nikki Finke about it, the director himself confirmed that date in a podcast with NFL Total Access host Rich Eisen (yes, the filmmaker is also a major pigskin addict).
While most of the conversation revolves around football (sorry cinephiles), Eisen does take the last few minutes out of the interview to ask about "Haywire," "Contagion" and Matt Damon's recent comments about Soderbergh's impending retirement.
Soderbergh also confirms what we've been hearing of late: there's been reshoots and elements added to "Haywire" that are different than the cut shown last summer. "We've gone back and done a little more work since you've seen it," he said to Eisen. The filmmaker also mentions, like we did with some of our early reports on the picture, that some potential male stars the producers talked to early on in the casting phase didn't like the idea of getting their ass kicked by a woman. "There were a couple people not comfortable being pounded on by a woman," the filmmaker admitted. "There's a hotel suite scene and... that's a lot of fun."
As for his virus outbreak thriller "Contagion" which stars seemingly every A-lister in Hollywood including Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and many many more, the picture is currently shooting in Atlanta (where Soderbergh was calling from; straight from the Center For Disease Control). Eisen calls it an "action thriller," and as we've noted in our script review, Soderbergh notes that, "It's a horror movie actually. We kill kids. It's brutal. It's scary." (ed. note: "horror movie" is relative; it's horrifying because so much of what happens in the movie feels like it's all too plausible; if you're expecting traditional horror movie you're in the wrong place, this one is "Traffic" meets an all-too-scary H1N1 virus that starts to spread internationally).
"Contagion" comes out October 21, 2011. It was originally going to be shot in 3D, but poor Red Camera tests at the time led the filmmakers to back away from that plan (obviously RED worked out all the kinks in time for "The Hobbit."). Soderbergh was pretty nonchalant about his retirement plans. He joked that Matt Damon was drunk when he made his recent comments, but notes that he's definitely sincere about it. "Yeah, I'm gonna wind it down and I'm making the announcement now so people can [get ready for it]. I'm just putting the word out now so all these various organizations can line up these lifetime achievement things so I can kind of do it all at the same time," he quipped. After the jokes subsided, the filmmaker said that after "Liberace" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." -- "hopefully with George [Clooney] if i have my way" -- he will call it quits and these will be his last two pictures. "I am being absolutely sincere, I have an exit strategy." He leaves the door slightly ajar to his two-more films, post-"Contagion" plans. "Look, anything can happen in this business," he said knowingly. "I've been fired, who knows."