Steven Soderbergh Contemplates Retirement After ‘Cleopatra 3D’
In today’s economy studio’s are tightening their belts more than ever and filmmakers like Steve Soderbergh have felt the pinch. In July, just days before shooting was set to begin, Sony canceled his baseball epic Moneyball after they decided the script rewrites he’d handed in were too experimental. Now the filmmaker says he may be ready to walk away from the movie business altogether. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he said:
I feel the need to recalibrate, just step away. I’ll go away and come back with a different approach – or I won’t.
In Soderbergh’s case, a different approach to filmmaking may actually be a good thing. Many of his recent films have seemed more like film school exercises and he rivals Woody Allen as a prominent director with a long list of promising disappointments. His latest movie, The Informant! was filled with quirky touches (like a 60s instrumental score and a cast filled with comedians playing straight-man roles) that didn’t add up to much of anything.
Even though last summer’s The Girlfriend Experience featured the film debut of porn star Sasha Grey; it’s lackadaisical pace could cause drowsiness faster than an Ambien mixed with a margarita. Add to the list, Che, his four epic plus epic about Che Guevara‘s life, which was also a critical and commericial flop and it’s understandable that Soderbergh seems to find himself at a career crossroads.
Any plans for retirement will will most likely have to wait until he’s finished the next few films he currently has in the pipeline. He’s scheduled to complete a 3D musical version of the story of Cleopatra starring Catherine Zeta Jones for release date of 2011 and a biopic about Liberace with Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. I think a 3-D musical may be just Soderbergh needs for a change of pace. If he had gone that route with The Girlfiriend Experience, it may have lured a few more ticketbuyers to the multiplex.