Matt Damon Says Steven Soderbergh's Retirement is Imminent?
by Ethan Anderton
December 22, 2010
Back when we heard George Clooney was potentially up for leading Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for the big screen, there were rumblings that the project was being viewed as the last film on which the actor and director would collaborate. Now it sounds like that train of thought may be taken a little further in that the adaptation of the 60's TV series may be Soderbergh's last film altogether. In speaking with Matt Damon, who's been working with Soderbergh's on Contagion, 24 Frames learned the director has grown weary of cinematic storytelling and will likely make good on his talk of retirement very soon.
Damon says, "He's retiring, he's been talking about it for years and it's getting closer." Seemingly confirming George Clooney's collaboration with Soderbergh on the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E., Damon had this to say about Soderbergh's future in filmmaking:
"He’s kind of exhausted with everything that interested him in terms of form. He’s not interested in telling stories. Cinema interested him in terms of form and that’s it. He says, 'If I see another over-the-shoulder shot, I’m going to blow my brains out.' After this movie we’re doing ‘Liberace’ next summer with Michael Douglas, and then he might do one more movie after that with George [Clooney], and then after that he’s retiring."
However, Damon seems to be trying to convince him otherwise, and aspires to follow in his footsteps as a great director:
"After I worked with Clint [Eastwood] I went back and said, ‘Look, Clint is having a blast and he's going to be 80 years old.’ And Steven says back, ‘Yeah, but he’s a storyteller and I’m not,' If you're an actor or a writer or someone working in film, it's such a waste. For me, I'm going to spend the next 40 years trying to become a great director and I will never reach what he's reached. And he's walking away from it."
I can understand Soderbergh becoming bored with the traditions of filmmaking, and he's been trying to shake things up with lower profile experimental indie projects like The Girlfriend Experience and Bubble, but apparently that's not enough. Some people just get bored with their current jobs, and no matter how creative or inspiring Soderbergh's work in film has been, we can't blame him for wanting to climb another mountain outside of the film industry. Personally, I hope The Man from U.N.C.L.E. comes together spectacularly so Soderbergh's leaves on good terms. We'll certainly miss him when he leaves. Anyone disappointed?