Soderbergh Updates Us on Liberace, Cleo, and Limey Sequel
by Alex Billington
September 16, 2009
As I already mentioned earlier in regards to the Spalding Gray documentary, I just interviewed Steven Soderbergh last weekend up here in Toronto. The full interview will be up this weekend, but I wanted to write about a few of the updates that he told me, as I asked him about almost all of his upcoming projects. We've heard details off and on recently about all of them (the most recent update was just a few weeks ago), but Soderbergh gave us some solid details on three of his new projects, including that two of them are shooting next year, and one of them has all the funding that it needs to start shooting. Read on for more!
In regards to the 3D rock 'n roll opera Cleo, about the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, Soderbergh said: "Cleo we've got to figure out, because we have the money, we just haven't scheduled it." When it was originally announced, both Hugh Jackman and Catherine Zeta-Jones were attached, but with all of the delays and everything, Jackman dropped out, and since then he's attached himself to numerous other musicals. I had to ask Soderbergh if Jackman was potentially still on-board, and his response was actually optimistic.
"I think Hugh… It seems to me, and I've got to confirm this with him or his people… He's attached himself to several other musicals that I think might get made before this, so it-- I've got to have a conversation with him about that, because I certainly don't want to be in a situation where it's not a fresh idea to have him in the movie. I wanted him in the movie, I offered him the role, but I got to double check if this is still something that he's interested in, because I don't want to be third."
Up next I asked him about Liberace, his biopic about musician Liberace that's set to star Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Soderbergh says he's going to be following a similar back-to-back schedule just like with The Girlfriend Experience and The Informant, two of his films that hit this year. First up will be Knockout, the MMA action film starring real-life fighter Gina Carano. This was first announced last week. Following that is Liberace - "next summer" he told me is when they would shoot it.
"I'm going to do them almost literally back-to-back, I'm going to prep the other one while I'm shooting Knockout. So next June, I was literally talking to Michael Douglas last night, and saying I think it's going to be June-July-August. So that's going to be crazy."
Lastly, I asked Soderbergh about the rumor that he was developing a sequel to The Limey. We first heard that this was a possible upcoming project when Soderbergh's wife Jules Asner talked about it on Adam Corolla's Podcast. Since it was just an early rumor, I decided to ask him if there was any truth to it at all.
"You know, I've talked to [screenwriter] Lem [Dobbs] about it, and I've talked to Terrence [Stamp] about it, but it feels, I don't know… It's one of those things again like -- we all would sort of like to do it, but it feels like we're having to force it a little. But I'll be working with Lem on Knockout, so maybe we'll talk about it during that."
"Well we've also talked about doing a sequel, it's sort of a philosophical sequel, not even the same characters, but a similar approach, with a different set of characters. A different character coming to a town to deal with something, but it's not Terrence, but its got the same attitude. So, I don't know…"
If you're a fan of Soderbergh at all, I suggest you see The Informant this weekend, as he's definitely back at the top of his game with the film, and it makes me excited to see what he does next. As you'll discover in my interview later this week, Soderbergh said that he's really just trying to do anything and everything before his career comes to an end, and that includes experimenting with 3D on films like Cleo, and working with budding new actresses like Gina Carano. As for The Limey sequel, well, that's just another film that I'd love to see, just because I don't want Soderbergh to ever give up directing, but only time will tell what happens.