Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper film franchise “Magic Mike” returns for a third and seemingly final entry, with the upcoming “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” debuting next month.
The film arrives eleven years after the Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey-led first film debuted in 2012, and the sequel “Magic Mike XXL” arrived in 2015. Shortly after, plans got underway for the stage revue show “Magic Mike Live” which premiered in the UK in 2018.
At the same time, a Broadway musical stage show that would serve as a prequel to the films was in the works. Those plans were scrapped in early-mid 2019 because the producers felt it wasn’t ready for production.
Then came the pandemic, and any plans for a stage production were put out to pasture. Nonetheless, because of that failure, the decision was taken to proceed with a third film. Soderbergh explains to Total Film:
“A third Magic Mike movie was kind of unexpected. We were a couple of years into working on a stage version of the show – a more traditional Broadway version – and that was all going on while Chan and Reid [Carolin, screenwriter] and the choreographic team were also developing the live show.
I’d seen some very early schematic workshops of the live show and thought it was intriguing. But I really wasn’t prepared, 18 months later, for what I saw in London, which was the finished version. And I was so captivated by it that I got on the phone and said, ‘I think we should abandon the Broadway idea, and I would like to make a movie that is a fictionalized version of how Mike comes up with the idea for the live show.’
He goes on to explain that the basic premise of the film sees Salma Hayek Pinault’s character offering Mike the opportunity to put on a show in London.
Soderbergh adds that the film was shot at a relatively breakneck pace, saying it was a “very, very tight schedule,” and so he had to “really just operate on instinct and almost treat it like a sport” when it came time to stage the project’s dance sequences.
He really liked that approach, saying: “there’s nothing that I look back on and go, ‘Oh, I wish we had a lot more time to do that.’ We left it all on the field.”
The franchise also spawned a reality competition television series titled “Finding Magic Mike” which debuted on HBO Max and debuted in December 2021 with Tatum and Soderbergh as executive producers. The reality series lasted one season, and then last month, Warner Bros. Discovery not only abruptly cancelled it but pulled the series from the service.
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which was initially conceived as an HBO Max premiere, will be released exclusively in cinemas from February 10th.