Steven Soderbergh Says He Sees the End of His Career Coming
Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh doesn't sound like he's doing too good. UK newspaper Guardian had a chance to talk with him recently, over the phone, and he sounds a bit depressed. Take this, for example: "You know, for a year after we finished shooting I would still wake up in the morning thinking, 'Thank God I'm not shooting that film.'" Though in the context of the conversation, that quote isn't as shocking as it by itself. Guardian's Henry Barnes was talking with Soderbergh about his two-part epic Che starring Benicio Del Toro. "It took a long time to shake off. It was just such an intense four or five months that it really…"
As we all know, Soderbergh has encountered endless problems recently, both with Moneyball, which Sony kicked him off of, and that rock 'n roll Cleopatra musical he wanted to do. But it sounds like it was Che that really took the most out of him. Barnes asks if he really wishes he hadn't made it. "Yeah," Soderbergh says. "Literally I'd wake up and think, 'At least I'm not doing that today.'" If you didn't see Che, it was a 262-minute (4 1/2 hour) two-part epic about the Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and his overthrow of the Cuban government in 1956. It was fascinating to watch, but a challenge to make on a tight budget (roughly $58M). "The two parts were filmed over 76 days, four days fewer" than Ocean's Eleven.
"It's hard to watch it and not to wish we'd had more time," Soderbergh says of Che. But as for his current career, and all the trouble he's encountered recently, what does he make of that? "In terms of my career, I can see the end of it," he says. "I've had that sensation for a few years now. And so I've got a list of stuff that I want to do – that I hope I can do – and once that's all finished I may just disappear." That's very sad to hear, considering Steven Soderbergh has been and still is one of my favorite directors of all-time. And while he does have a lot of wacky ideas, I appreciate that he's even experimenting with such crazy ideas.
Soderbergh says that he's got at least "three or four years worth of stuff" still in the works, including that Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, that Cleo rock 'n roll musical, an adaptation of John Barth's "The Sot-Weed Factor," and potentially a sequel to The Limey. All of these sound like good ideas and films I'd love to see, not necessarily for their subject matter, but just because Soderbergh is the one bringing them to big screen. He's a director who not only has a great sense of style, but is also willing to experiment with the medium in ways no other filmmaker has done before. And for that alone, he deserves to continue making movies. I certainly hope I'll still be watching his movies for many more years to come.