Steven Soderbergh Still Isn’t Interested in Making More Movies
Steven Soderbergh is the busiest retired person on the planet. He may have quit (movie) directing in 2013, but he’s still hard at work. He was the cinematographer and editor on this summer’s Magic Mike XXL, and he’s already pumped out two seasons of the Cinemax series The Knick.
You’d think since he’s clearly incapable of sitting around and doing nothing that he might give up on the whole retirement thing completely and just go back to directing films. (His last theatrical feature was the 2013 thriller Side Effects.) But Soderbergh told The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview that he doesn’t see it happening. TV is his new home now:
Just from my very personal, subjective point of view, I don't have an interest in making another theatrical film unless my attitude changes or the business changes. There are a series of things that have contributed to it — I think the audiences have a played a role, the studios have a role in it — but film is increasingly fear based in its decision-making, and that's not a good base to be creative.
Soderbergh is also currently executive producing a TV adaptation of his film The Girlfriend Experience, about the exploits of a high-priced call girl. Interestingly, the show is being helmed by two other indie auteurs, Lodge Kerrigan (Keane) and Amy Seimetz (Sun Don’t Shine). Soderbergh described it (and The Knick) to THR as “auteur TV.”
Generally, I don’t like to get into the which-is-better-film-or-TV thing. TV is great and film is great. Just yesterday I was walking home from work thinking about how many incredible films I had seen in the last month at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest. Movies are alive and well. But they won’t be for long if more and more auteurs start following Soderbergh’s path. If the great artists all wind up on television (or at streaming sites), the movies are going to be in serious trouble.