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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Steven Soderbergh talks HAYWIRE, CONTAGION, and his future
Kate Erbland
by: Kate Erbland
January 8th, 2011

Despite Matt Damon revealing to the world that Steven Soderbergh was retiring from the world of filmmaking, the writer and director still has a hefty number of projects on his plate to keep that plan from being pushed back (thank you, cinema gods, for that).

In a chat with NFL Total Access (go with it), Soderbergh revealed many details regarding his upcoming projects, including HAYWIRE, CONTAGION, LIBERACE, and his The Man From U.N.C.L.E. adaptation. After the break, see what Soderbergh had to say on those projects, including plot points and release dates. Hint – April and October of this year are looking positively Soderbergh-tastic.

Soderbergh confirmed that HAYWIRE is indeed coming out on April 22. Starring MMA fighter Gina Carano, the film sees the tough chick as betrayed black ops soldier. Is she pissed? Better believe it – Soderbergh also revealed that this element of the film was a deterrent to some potential male leads, as he said, “there were a couple people not comfortable being pounded on by a woman.” Who might have been comfortable with it? Co-stars Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, and Antonio Banderas. Nice job, guys.

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Post by Admin on Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Filmmaker Soderbergh talks retirement at Omaha appearance

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Filmmaker Soderbergh talks retirement at Omaha appearance

By MICAH MERTES / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:00 am | No Comments

Steven Soderbergh has four more films on the way -- two wrapped, two still to shoot. And that's all he's got, he says.

"Haywire": Model and mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano plays a black ops spy double-crossed by her team. She evades an international manhunt while trying to figure out who betrayed her and why. And kill them.

It has a pretty star-heavy supporting cast: Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton. (Release date: TBA 2011)

"Contagion": This movie's cast makes "Haywire's" cast look like that of a straight-to-DVD indie movie. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, John Hawkes, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould and Bryan Cranston star in a movie about a deadly virus pandemic and the team of CDC doctors contracted to deal with it. And all of this in 3-D! (Release date: Oct. 21)

"Liberace": Biopic of t
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OMAHA -- Steven Soderbergh has a special relationship to Oscar.

At the 2001 Academy Awards, he became the first director in more than 60 years to be double-nominated (for "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich") and the first ever to win (for "Traffic").

That professional peak stands at the center of a career that's spanned two decades and more than 20 films, establishing Soderbergh as one of the most fascinating and atypical of American filmmakers. From his 1989 breakthrough "Sex, Lies and Videotape" to his star-studded studio films ("Ocean's Eleven" and its sequels) to his smaller, stranger personal projects ("Bubble," "The Girlfriend Experience"), he's utterly un-peggable. There's no such thing as "a Steven Soderbergh movie."

"I don't like all his films," said Soderbergh's friend Alexander Payne, director and Oscar-winning writer of "Sideways" and an Omaha native. "But I dislike none of them. I adore many of them. And I respect them all."

Payne introduced Soderbergh on Sunday night at a packed Holland Performing Arts Center during a special program sponsored by the Omaha arthouse movie theater Film Streams. For the main event, Soderbergh was interviewed by another Omaha native, Kurt Andersen, novelist and host of the Peabody-winning radio program "Studio 360." The two discussed a number of topics, including sex, lies, videotape, the director's prolific career and, most notably, his impending retirement.

Yes, Soderbergh said, he's just about done: two movies wrapped, two to go. And that's it.

"I just need to step out," he said of his reason. "I've been running really fast in a certain direction for a while, and I want to change."

For the past three years, Soderbergh has been turning down projects and looking to the light at the end of the tunnel. He's not excited about this stuff anymore and doesn't like "the feeling of repeating something that I've done."

He doesn't know what his next professional incarnation will be. But it's not this.

Soderbergh also was forthcoming on the highs and lows of the peculiar career soon coming to an end, as he and Andersen examined some of the recurring themes of his films.

On sex: "Well ... I guess, it's how we got here. So I guess it's interesting. I've always been fascinated by the degree to which people are able to incorporate it or not incorporate it into their lives depending on what their preferences are."

On his filmmaking influences: "Stealing is necessary (for an artist). The way in which you steal is very important. (Say you're at a friend's house). You steal something from their closet. You need to act as though you now own it. You're not giving it back. You're now going to wear it like it's yours."

On being a director but not a writer: "I knew that I wasn't a writer, really, that I wrote to get in but that I wasn't really a writer and that my career would be better served by working with other writers. And that saved me in a lot of ways."

On how different his films are from each other: "I never wanted to be a brand. There's nobody in Hollywood going into a pitch meeting saying, 'It's going to be like a Steven Soderbergh movie.' God knows what that could be."

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Post by Admin on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:05 am$#!-out-of-the-cast

Steven Soderbergh On Gina Carano In 'Haywire': "It's So Satisfying Watching Her Beat The s$#! Out Of The Cast"
Features by The Playlist | December 1, 2011

With Steven Soderbergh's next next next film being announced earlier in the week as psychological thriller "The Bitter Pill" his next, "Haywire" (shot before "Contagion," but released after, although still ahead of the just-wrapped "Magic Mike") is getting closer and closer, and the film screened in New York last night to a delighted audience, many of whom were MMA fans.

Soderbergh and his star, MMA fighter Gina Carano -- who makes her acting debut as the lead role of covert operative Mallory Kane, betrayed and left vengeful by the shadowy people she works for -- were present for a Q&A afterwards. While it was a slightly odd evening -- a security guard fell asleep in the front row, and the venue kept dimming the lights, prompting the director to joke "It's apparently last call. They really want us out of here" -- there were plenty of insights into the making of the film, and in particular the brutal hand-to-hand action featured throughout.

Soderbergh commented that when co-star Channing Tatum first saw the film, he commented, "God, it's so much fun to watch [Gina] beat her way through the cast." And seeing Carano working her way through guys like Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas certainly seems to be one of the biggest selling-points of the film, especially for female audiences if our crowd was any gauge, but she reveals that the stars were a little reluctant to go toe-to-toe with their leading lady at first.

Carano said that she has no problem squaring off with men saying, "I've dealt with men larger than me, smaller than me, I've been hit where I can't catch up with my head, and I've been hit not so hard. It's all about the chemistry with the person. There were no egos involved, it was all about creating the best fight scene that we could. It was ok to get hurt." But the stars still took a little convincing not to hold their punches. Soderbergh comments, "[Gina] had to convince both Channing and Michael, 'You can hit me.' Because that's sort of the point of the film, as Ewan says, very late, 'Don't think of her as a woman, that would be a mistake.' There was a little bit of that, and you had to go, 'Come on.' "

Even the stuntman were trying to remain gentleman, as Carano relates, but she was admittedly taken aback a little once they let loose: "With the stunt guys also, they were used to actresses. I actually had to tell that one stunt guy, 'No, you put me into that wall as hard as you can.' And he put me into it so hard I actually went white for a second. But I actually enjoyed that. Is that weird?"

Of course, as a professional MMA fighter, Carano should enjoy it (she told the audience at one point "fighting is the most honest form of communication you can get"), but those wussy actor types were just as happy to take a hiding. Carano tells of how the star of "Shame" proved her match. "[Michael] Fassbender just became a mentor to me, he was so supportive. And he was so down to just bang into everything we could, vases, everything. He always was like 'We need to slam our head into that wall a little harder.' "

Those words came back to haunt him, however, in one brutal fight scene. "In the hotel room fight scene," Soderbergh relates, "which was rehearsed at length, for weeks, our lead stunt choreographer explained to Michael 'Listen, here's what's going to happen. When she reaches for the vase, your instinct is going to be to look at it. Don't do that, because if you do that, she's going to hit you right in the eye with it.' They drilled this into him, and sure enough, on take one, she grabbed it, and he looked right at it, and she hit him right, flush -- and it's the take that's in the movie. That's the good news. But he really got clocked. I mean it's breakaway, but you don't wanna get hit by her with this at full tilt. He took a beating."

That scene itself, heavily featured in the trailer, was in fact the spring-off point for the whole project, via a mostly forgotten vehicle for "The Birds" star Rod Taylor. Soderbergh explains "The writer, Lem Dobbs, had turned me on to a movie that was made in the 60s called 'Darker Than Amber,' which starred Rod Taylor, who I always liked a lot. And there's this scene in the middle with him and what must have been a stuntman, where they get into this incredibly brutal fight in a hotel room, smaller than this one and not as nice, and they just tear each other apart, and tear the room apart. And we talked about it, and I thought that would be great, but it'd be even better if it was a four-star hotel, and he was in a suit, and she was in a cocktail dress. That would be a really odd juxtaposition of elements. In a lot of ways, the movie was built out from that idea."

And true to its retro inspiration, the director was keen to stay away from any contemporary "Bourne Identity"-style camerawork. "I don't think there's a single hand-held shot in the movie," Soderbergh said. "We were really consciously going against the grain there, because my feeling is that lately, there has been a way of disguising the fact that the people can't really do what's required, and knowing that I had Gina, and knowing that we had cast people around her who could actually do this stuff, we took the conscious position of letting you really see it, not cutting as fast, keeping the shots looser, and having you feel, 'Wow, that's really happening in front of us.' "

Haywire lands in theaters January 20, 2012. To tide you over, here's our review from AFI Fest, the "Darker Than Amber" fight sequence below and a pretty nice UK quad poster for the movie from Empire.

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