Oscar Directors: Soderbergh, Steven–

Soderbergh, Steven: LET THEM ALL TALK (HBO MAX)

DECEMBER 10, 2020 (Via Zoom)

 

REPRESENTATION

Manager: Sugar23 / Michael Sugar / 323.987.6000

Company Affiliation: Extension 765 / Principal / 212.242.4929

 

BIRTHDAY

Birthdate: 01/14/1963 Age: 57 (Capricorn)

Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Birth Name: Steven Andrew Soderbergh

 

PROFESSIONS

Director, producer, cinematographer, writer, editor, actor, sound

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Steven Soderbergh has 7 film projects in the works.
  • Upcoming projects include the feature “Let Them All Talk” (2020).
  • Won an Academy Award for Directing in 2001 for “Traffic.”
  • Soderbergh has won a total of 17 awards and has been nominated for 23 awards.
  • Top domestic grossing films include “Ocean’s Eleven” ($183.41M) in 2001 and “Ocean’s 8” ($139.36M) in 2018.
  • Steven Soderbergh’s films have earned a total of 1.66 billion dollars in domestic grosses.
  • Executive produced the Starz drama “The Girlfriend Experience,” which was also adapted from his 2009 film of the same name (2016).
  • Soderbergh’s interest in filmmaking began when he started making Super 8 mm films as a teenager.
  • Attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and Louisiana State University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Early credits include directing the feature film “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” released in 1989.
  • Feature directing debut, “sex, lies and videotape”; also wrote and edited; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay (1989).
  • Soderbergh, 57, was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, GA with the name Steven Andrew Soderbergh.

EMPLOYMENT

 

BIOGRAPHY

Despite being anointed a wunderkind after winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his debut film, “sex, lies and videotape” (1989), director Soderbergh spent the better part of the ensuing decade struggling to find his creative and commercial footing. After following up his Cannes triumph with the baffling “Kafka” (1991), Soderbergh all but disappeared from Hollywood’s radar, thanks to commercial failures like “King of the Hill” (1993) and “The Underneath” (1995). He cleansed his palate with the truly bizarre “Schizopolis” (1997), which helped pave the way for a revitalized career with “Out of Sight” (1998), a stylish adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s romantic crime thriller that finally put Soderbergh on the map.

The director soon entered into a fertile period that saw him make creatively satisfying films that also made money; most notably “Erin Brockovich” (2000) and “Traffic” (2000), the latter of which earned him an Oscar for Best Director.

After directing the highly-commercial “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), Soderbergh again felt the need to cleanse his soul with “Full Frontal” (2002) and “Solaris” (2002), both of which earned him considerable scorn. Always willing to experiment, as he did with the low-budget “Bubble” (2006) and the sprawling four-hour epic “Che” (2008), Soderbergh was able to keep alive his independent spirit while his feet remained firmly planted in the commercial world, even at the risk of earning detractors and disappointing fans – the mark of a truly independent filmmaker.

Born on Jan. 14, 1963 in Atlanta, GA, Soderbergh moved around as a child and spent his formative years growing up in Baton Rouge, LA, where his father, Peter, served as Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University, and his mother, Mary, was a parapsychologist. As a teenager, he cut his teeth making Super-8 short films with equipment borrowed from LSU film students. After graduating LSU Laboratory School, a K-12 directly connected to the university, Soderbergh picked up and moved to Los Angeles to try his hand in Hollywood – initially to frustrating results. To support himself, Soderbergh worked as an editor on “Games People Play” (NBC, 1980-81) and a scorekeeper on “Laff-a-Thon.” Returning home after failing to make any headway, he continued honing his craft with several more Super-8 short films, including “Rapid Eye Movement,” a manic chronicle of his time in Los Angeles, and “Winston,” which focused on sexual deception – a recurrent theme later in his career. Meanwhile, he began helming music videos for local Louisiana bands, which led to his first big break, directing the Grammy-nominated concert film, “9012Live” (1985), for the progressive rock band, Yes.

 

In 1987, Soderbergh decided to make a second run at feature directing so moved back to Los Angeles. On his way there, he began writing a script that was in part inspired by a recent confession to an ex-girlfriend about his infidelity. Upon his arrival, he joined forces with producer Nick Wechsler and spent the next six months looking for funds. With little more than $1 million in place, Soderbergh returned to Baton Rouge to shoot “sex, lies and videotape” (1989), a finely crafted morality play about sexual intrigue and mendacity, starring James Spader, who enjoys videotaping women talking about sex more than actually having it. He takes particular interest in the icy wife (Andie MacDowell) of an old college friend (Peter Gallagher), who cheats with his spouse’s own fiery sister (Laura San Giacomo). After making waves at the United States Film Festival – precursor of Sundance Film Festival – “sex, lies and videotape” took Cannes by storm, winning a Palme d’Or for Best Film. Dubbed a wunderkind by critics, Soderbergh set the stage for directors like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and others to follow. The film was snatched up by rising powerhouse, Miramax Films, and proved to be a box office hit upon its later summer release. “Sex, lies and videotape” earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, establishing Soderbergh as one of the most promising young filmmakers of his generation.

 

But that promise took nearly a decade to fulfill. Soderbergh’s subsequent films throughout the next decade were an artistically mixed bag. Soderbergh followed up with the disappointing “Kafka” (1991), an interesting, though muddled existential thriller starring Jeremy Irons as a fictional version of the famed paranoid author. Mostly shot in black-and-white and evocative of German Expressionism, “Kafka” was an utter failure both artistically and financially, leading some who had dubbed him the new prince of independent film to retract their words. Soderbergh rebounded from his sophomore slump with another study in emotional isolation, “King of the Hill” (1993), a sensitively wrought and underappreciated gem that followed a Depression-era boy (Jesse Bradford) coping with poverty and neglect. The director developed another variation on the same theme with “The Underneath” (1995), a remake of Robert Siodmak’s film noir classic “Criss Cross” (1949). The heavily stylized film, which featured a chromatic color scheme, told an intricate, fragmentary tale about a compulsive gambler (Gallagher) who reunites with his ex-wife (Alison Elliott), which leads to a plan to rob an armored car. Employing flashbacks, flash-forwards and endless plot twists, Soderbergh’s film won some critical praise, but ultimately failed to generate an audience. His lack of enthusiasm for the project while shooting perhaps led to a cold and empty film.

 

Finding himself in a rut after “The Underneath” and feeling the need for a refresher in the joys of indie filmmaking, Soderbergh trekked home to Baton Rouge and shot “Schizopolis” (1997) for $250,000 with used equipment and a five-person crew. He also cast himself in a dual leading role, playing both Fletcher Munson, an office employee at a self-help company who comes into contact with Dr. Jeffrey Korchek, a doppelganger who happens to be having an affair with Munson’s wife (Betsy Brantley). Adding an element of psychodrama, Soderbergh cast his ex-wife, Brantley, in scenes that wickedly parodied their disintegrated five-year marriage. The result was an indescribable exercise in avant-garde filmmaking that veered wildly from bizarre to downright incomprehensible. While editing “Schizopolis” in Baton Rouge, he took 10 days to shoot “Gray’s Anatomy” (1997), creating the most cinematic of the filmed Spalding Gray monologues. Batteries recharged, Soderbergh returned to mainstream movies, directing the adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel “Out of Sight” (1998), starring George Clooney as a charming thief who falls for a U.S. Marshal (Jennifer Lopez) after taking her hostage during a prison break. Stylish, soulful and boasting an intense onscreen chemistry between the two leads, “Out of Sight” was a critical darling – though not an enormous box office hit – and earned several major award nominations, including Academy Award nods for Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. More importantly, the film increased the value of his stock and led to a fruitful period for the director that resulted in creatively satisfying movies that also earned at the box office.

 

Back on a successful creative track, Soderbergh tackled “The Limey” (1999), a revenge drama about a British ex-con (Terence Stamp) who travels to Los Angeles to avenge his daughter’s death. Casting established stars like Stamp and Peter Fonda in leading roles, the director tapped into their iconic screen presences which lent an extra layer to the story, even using clips of Stamp in Ken Loach’s “Poor Cow” (1967) as flashbacks. Soderbergh’s visual panache and strong handle on the material took what could have been a run-of-the-mill gangster story and elevated it to a work of art. His immediate follow-up, the highly commercial “Erin Brockovich” (2000), was on the surface an atypical project for the independent-minded director. Starring Julia Roberts as the titular character, the character drama focused on an unemployed single mother who bullies her way into the law offices of her accident attorney (Albert Finney) and convinces him to give her a job as consolation for losing her case. After becoming his office clerk, Brockovich finds files on a PG&E case that rouses her suspicions, leading to an investigation that uncovers a systematic cover-up of industrial poisoning that caused an increased rate of cancer for one community. Both inspirational and entertaining, “Erin Brockovich” became Soderbergh’s first major success, grossing over $125 million at the box office and earning several Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture and Best Actress.

 

Soderbergh would have had a banner year in 2000 with “Erin Brockovich” alone. But he also directed the multi-character “Traffic” (2000). Based on a 1989 British miniseries of the same name, “Traffic” was a cross between the director’s commercial films and his experimental indie features that tackled the issue of the failed War on Drugs by focusing on the personal dramas of a broad spectrum of those involved. Acting as his own director of photography, but taking credit as Peter Andrews, Soderbergh shot each of the film’s three major storylines in a different color scheme – jaundiced yellow for a decaying Mexico, lush colors for affluent San Diego, and a cold bluish hue for isolated Washington, D.C. With 110 speaking roles, the sprawling film traced the war on drugs from all sides – from a newly appointed drug czar (Michael Douglas) and low pay-grade Mexican police officers (Benicio Del Toro and Jacob Vargas) to the affluent wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of a cocaine distributor and upper middle-class white users (Erika Christensen and Topher Grace). A critical triumph, as well as a box-office success, “Traffic” was part of the one-two combination alongside “Erin Brockovich” that brought Soderbergh numerous end-of-the-year prizes on his way to becoming the first director since Michael Curtiz in 1939 (for 1938’s “Angels with Dirty Faces” and “Four Daughters”) to receive dual Academy Award nominations for Best Director. He eventually took home the Oscar for his work on “Traffic,” capping a year where he finally achieved mainstream success.

 

Adding to his commercial resume, Soderbergh directed the all-star remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), featuring a new so-called Rat Pack that included George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. A fun, stylish romp, the new “Ocean’s” focused on a newly paroled thief (Clooney) who handpicks an 11-man team to rip-off over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by a classy, but ruthless entrepreneur (Andy Garcia). “Ocean’s Eleven” was another bona fide hit for Soderbergh, cementing the director’s credentials as a highly viable and successful commercial filmmaker. But in 2002, Soderbergh took a different approach to his craft and directed the non-narrative “Full Frontal,” starring Julia Roberts, David Duchovny and Catherine Keener. Shot in 18 days, the film featured guerilla-style camera work and improvisation from the actors. Despite the all-star pedigree, the no-budget project failed to congeal creatively and earned the director some well-deserved criticism. The critical drubbing continued when he attempted to remake the sci-fi cult classic, “Solaris” (2003), a slow-moving and ultimately dull sci-fi thriller starring Clooney as a psychologist who travels to a faraway space station to investigate the strange behavior of a small group of scientists on a mysterious planet.

 

Going back to the well, Soderbergh reunited the original cast and once again breathed vibrancy into “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004), an upbeat and visually interesting sequel that ultimately suffered from a pointless plot that needed 10 minutes of exposition at the end to explain. Despite the obvious fun being had by Clooney, Roberts, Pitt both during filming and onscreen, viewers were not amused. The lackluster exercise failed to win many admirers who were tiring of the endless practical jokes, boating parties on Lake Cuomo and insular brotherhood that preceded the filming of each project and continued throughout its promotions – like the impossibly gorgeous actors were in on a joke only they understood, leaving the public out. Despite the lackluster response to the second “Ocean’s” film, Soderbergh formed the production company Section Eight with Clooney and entered the television world with the Washington insider drama, “K Street” (HBO, 2003). The series starred real-life political gurus and spouses James Carville and Mary Matalin, who appeared as themselves but were surrounded by fictional characters as they embarked on running their own fictional consulting firm. Interspersing real politicians in documentary-style, the interesting experiment ultimately failed to attract much attention outsight the Beltway, thanks in large part because of its shaky narrative style – part scripted entertainment; part improvisation with real-life Washington politicos – that lead to awkward moments onscreen. There was genuine comedy and pathos at the heart of Soderbergh’s follow-up, the improvised “Unscripted” (HBO, 2004-05), which followed the ups and downs of a trio of struggling actors working their way through Hollywood with the tough-love guidance of their acting coach.

 

Always game for a good filmmaking experiment – if only to cleanse commercialization from his pores – Soderbergh made his next film, “Bubble” (2006), an unlikely love triangle between three factory workers that eventually leads to murder. Starring a series of non-actors from the small Ohio town of Belpre where the film was shot, the experiment was made on a small, six-figure budget and a crew of less than ten. “Bubble” was also unusual for its theatrical release, which was followed the next day by a cable broadcast and DVD release two subsequent days later. With “The Good German” (2006), Soderbergh summoned the film noir style from Hollywood days of yore, collaborating once again with Clooney, who starred as a U.S. war correspondent covering the Potsdam Peace Conference in Berlin following the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich. After witnessing the murder of an American G.I. on the Russian side of the city, the reporter suddenly finds himself alone in finding the truth while confronting his pre-Berlin past in the form of his old lover (Cate Blachett), who has been irrevocably damaged by the war. “The Good German” demonstrated Soderbergh’s love of American noir and the German expressionism from which it was inspired. But his zealous attention to style and period detail sapped creative energy from elements where it was needed most – mainly story and character development – leading to poor reviews and practically zero audience interest.

 

Soderbergh decided to go back to the commercial well once again, directing the third and possibly last installment, “Ocean’s 13” (2007), a much more intriguing and well-received addition to the series than its immediate predecessor. Again starring Clooney, Pitt, Don Cheadle, and the other neo-Rat Packers, the spunky thriller was elevated by the addition of Al Pacino, who played a ruthless casino owner who becomes the target of Danny Ocean’s crew after betraying beloved member, Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould). The return to the fun-loving, intricately-plotted roots of the first film was welcomed by both critics and audiences alike. Keeping his fans and critics off balance once again, Soderbergh directed “Che” (2008), an almost five-hour long biography about the life and times of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara (Benicio del Toro). Long, sprawling and complicated, “Che” was broken up into two parts, while earning mixed reviews after its debut at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. The film also earned its share of criticism, particularly after a screening in Miami, for being too favorable in its depiction of the revolutionary. Turning heads once again, Soderbergh cast real-life porn star Sasha Grey for his next film, “The Girlfriend Experience” (2009), another low-budget, improvisatory exercise in independent filmmaking. Back to commercial directing once again, he helmed “The Informant!” (2009), a darkly comic thriller based on a true story about a corporate whistleblower (Matt Damon) who helps the FBI uncover a price-fixing scheme at Archer Daniels Midland, only to get caught defrauding the very company he was informing on while also displaying bizarre behavior brought on by his bipolar disorder.

 

Following some low-key productions, notably the Spalding Gray documentary “And Everything Is Going Fine” (2010), Soderbergh returned to a flurry of productivity, offering up the unsettling 2011 ensemble thriller “Contagion,” featuring Damon, Kate Winlset, Jude Law and many other notable actors. The hard-hitting action film “Haywire” followed in early 2012, with real-life MMA star Gina Carano convincingly playing a tough secret agent who clashes with her former associates, portrayed by Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender and Ewan McGregor, among others. Soderbergh worked with Tatum again in his next two films, the well-received male-stripper drama “Magic Mike” (2012) and the Hitchcockian thriller “Side Effects,” co-starring Law and Rooney Mara. Threatening to retire from cinema after his long-in-the-works Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” (2013), Soderbergh finally brought the project to the small screen on HBO, with Michael Douglas playing the garish and talented showman and Damon portraying his lover. In the fall of 2013, Soderbergh won his first Emmy for directing the production, with Douglas also nabbing an award for his impressive lead performance.

 

WIKI UPDATES

His upcoming film, Let Them All Talk, is a comedy starring Meryl StreepGemma ChanDianne WiestCandice Bergen and Lucas Hedges. The film was shot in New York and the UK, and aboard the ocean liner Queen Mary 2. It will premiere in 2020 on HBO Max.

He began filming his next project in September 2020 in Detroit, a 1950s period crime film called No Sudden Move’ (formerly Kill Switch). From Mosaic writer Ed Solomon, it stars Don CheadleBenicio del ToroDavid HarbourAmy SeimetzJon HammRay LiottaKieran CulkinBrendan FraserNoah JupeBill DukeFrankie Shaw and Julia Fox. It will also air on HBO Max.

Soderbergh is also developing a six-part miniseries written by Lem Dobbs about the life of Emin Pasha.

 

FAMILY

Father: Peter Andrew Soderbergh; was a university administrator and educator; He has Swedish, Irish and Italian roots. Became Dean of Education at Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Mother: Mary Ann Bernard Soderbergh

Paternal Grandfather: Immigrated to the U.S. from Stockholm

Daughter: Pearl Button Anderson; Born August 30, 2011; mother is Frances Anderson,

Daughter: Sarah Soderbergh, born in the winter of 1990 in the U.S.; lives in Seattle, Washington; mother is Betsy Brantley

 

COMPANIONS

Wife: Jules Asner, screenwriter and author and former entertainment journalist, television personality and model; Born Feb. 14, 1968 in Tempe, Arizona; married May 10, 2003 in their New York apartment; Soderbergh often credits his wife with influencing his female characters; formerly married to Matthew Asner and took his surname, making her the former daughter-in-law of actor Ed Asner.

Companion: Frances Anderson; former film school student with whom Soderbergh had an affair while he was in Sydney, Australia directing the play “Tot Mom”, 2011

Wife: Betsy Brantley, actress; Born Sept. 20, 1955 in New York; married Dec. 2, 1989; divorced in 1994; Her breakout role was in the 1982 film “Five Days One Summer” with Sean Connery.

 

EDUCATION

Louisiana State University Laboratory School for High School

 

DEALS

Overall – Warner MediaHBO Network- Home Box OfficeHBO Max; 01/2020-01/2023

Steven Soderbergh has signed a three-year overall deal with Warner Media to create and develop projects for HBO and HBO Max that will be exclusive in all forms of television and a first-look for films. (01/20)

 

AWARDS

2019 Slamdance Film Festival. Founders Award. Honoree

2017 Gotham Awards. Breakthrough Series – Long Form. Co-Nominee. The Girlfriend Experience

2016 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Nominee. The Knick

2016 Directors Guild of America Award. Dramatic Series. Nominee. The Knick

2015 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Nominee. The Knick

2014 Directors Guild of America Award. Movies For Television and Limited Series. Winner. Behind the Candelabra

2014 Directors Guild of America Award. Robert B. Aldrich Service Award. Winner

2013 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special. Winner. Behind the Candelabra

2013 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Cinematography For a Miniseries or Movie. Nominee. Behind the Candelabra

2013 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For a Miniseries or a Movie. Winner. Behind the Candelabra

2011 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Nonfiction Special. Co-Nominee. His Way

2009 Primetime Emmy Award. Outstanding Nonfiction Special. Co-Nominee. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

2007 Independent Spirit Award. Best Director. Nominee. Bubble

2003 César Award. Best Foreign Feature. Nominee. Ocean’s Eleven

2002 César Award. Best Foreign Feature. Nominee. Traffic

2001 Toronto Film Critics Association Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award. Best Director. Winner. Erin Brockovich

2001 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 National Board of Review Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 New York Film Critics Circle Award. Best Director. Winner. Erin Brockovich

2001 New York Film Critics Circle Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 National Society of Film Critics Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 National Society of Film Critics Award. Best Director. Winner. Erin Brockovich

2001 Critics’ Choice Award. Best Director. Winner. Traffic

2001 Critics’ Choice Award. Best Director. Winner. Erin Brockovich

2001 BAFTA Award. David Lean Award For Achievement In Direction, The. Nominee. Erin Brockovich

2001 BAFTA Award. David Lean Award For Achievement In Direction, The. Nominee. Traffic

2001 Golden Globe Award. Best Director – Motion Picture. Nominee. Erin Brockovich

2001 Golden Globe Award. Best Director – Motion Picture. Nominee. Traffic

2001 Academy Award. Directing. Winner. Traffic

2001 Academy Award. Directing. Nominee. Erin Brockovich

2001 Directors Guild of America Award. Feature Film. Nominee. Erin Brockovich

2001 Directors Guild of America Award. Feature Film. Nominee. Traffic

2000 Independent Spirit Award. Best Director. Nominee. The Limey

1999 National Society of Film Critics Award. Best Director. Winner. Out of Sight

1990 Independent Spirit Award. Best Director. Winner. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1990 BAFTA Award. Original Screenplay. Nominee. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1990 Writers Guild of America Award. Original Screenplay. Nominee. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1990 Golden Globe Award. Best Screenplay – Motion Picture. Nominee. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1990 Academy Award. Writing (Screenplay Written Directly For the Screen). Nominee. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1990 César Award. Best Foreign Feature. Nominee. Sex, Lies, and Videotape

 

MEDIA

news.yahoo.com/jesse-collins-produce-oscars-stacey-191736253.html

Jesse Collins to produce Oscars with Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh, By Cortney Wills, Dec. 8, 2020

 

 

www.yahoo.com/entertainment/q-soderbergh-boat-movie-blockbusters-172827983.html

Q&A: Soderbergh on his ‘boat movie’ & the blockbuster’s fate, By Jack Coyle, Dec. 8, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Soderbergh calls it “the boat movie” even though he’s not supposed to call it “the boat movie.”

The Queen Mary 2, on which Soderbergh filmed the majority of his new film “Let Them All Talk,” is technically a ship, and a big one at that. The thought of making a movie on the $750-million ocean liner, during an eight-day Transatlantic crossing from New York to South Hampton, U.K., tickled Soderbergh, a filmmaker who hunts quicker, less plodding methods of making movies the way some seek other shores.

 

If there were any doubt, Soderbergh is not a cruise guy. But despite — or maybe because of — his proficiency as a filmmaker, he likes to put himself at sea, with new problems to navigate. He shot much of “Let Them All Talk” while rolling around the decks in a wheelchair, with a camera in his lap.

 

The film, written by the acclaimed short-story writer Deborah Eisenberg (at 75, her first screenplay), stars Meryl Streep as an author traveling to receive an award, who brings along two friends (Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges). As a travel setting now associated with outbreaks from the beginning of the pandemic, Soderbergh calls his film, on HBO Max on Thursday, “from the before times.”

 

That’s something Soderbergh, as the maker of “Contagion,” knows about, too. In an interview by phone, he spoke about that prophetic 2011 film, leading Hollywood’s return to production and the future of the movie industry post-pandemic. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

 

AP: Were you more mentally prepared for the pandemic because you had thought it through on “Contagion”?

Soderbergh: Certainly everybody that I talked to that worked with us on “Contagion” said very, very early this is very serious, this thing is — to use a technical term — gnarly. Get ready to hunker down is what I was hearing in early January. None of it was a surprise. But there are aspects of how this has played out that (screenwriter) Scott Burns and I could have never anticipated.

 

AP: What’s most surprising to you?

Soderbergh: We are clearly, history tells us, a deeply irrational species. We’ve never had as stark an example of that as COVID.

 

AP: Was part of the appeal of “Let Them All Talk” giving yourself a rigid time frame? You need to finish before docking.

Soderbergh: Yeah, I like the fact that this is happening whether we want it to or not. They’re moving at a certain pace and it takes a certain amount of time, and we have a certain amount of time to execute. The first few days were rough. We were behind. We finally caught our rhythm day three or four. But since we were going from the U.S. to the U.K., we were losing an hour a day. It was kind of the production nightmare scenario. Every day got shorter.

 

AP: For you, what did the setting give the film?

Soderbergh: I looked around and everywhere I looked I was like: This is a $750-million film set. Everywhere you pointed the camera, it screamed scale. While delivering the final elements to Warner, I sat down to watch it one last time. And I was just looking at it going: I still can’t believe we thought you should do that, that you should go shoot a movie on a crossing. I was shaking my head. Who would think: Yeah, we should do that. But that’s what made it so fun.

 

AP: You led the Directors Guild task force for on-set COVID-19 protocols, and you just returned from shooting “No Sudden Move” in Detroit. How did it go?

Soderbergh: It didn’t slow me down. We were able to get out of there safely. The bottom line — I don’t care what anybody says — if you’re shooting on a film set, there’s no version of that that includes physical distancing. It’s impossible. It’s an anthill. So what that means is: For the people that in are in that anthill, you gotta test them three times a week and you need the results within 24 hours. If you can do that, you can choke off an outbreak before it’s gotten anywhere. We created a bubble of sorts. We took over a hotel and the densest part of the anthill stayed there. It’s a production within the production.

 

AP: It’s lately seemed like the film industry is changing before our eyes.

Soderbergh: Yeah, it is. And it needs to. This is catastrophic what’s happening to the exhibitors right now. The only thing to look forward to is that when this starts to return to some semblance of normal there’s a more fluid approach to windowing and day-and-date. That’s what I hope.

 

AP: What do you think Hollywood looks like in two, three years from now? Is it radically different?

Soderbergh: At the end of the day, what’s most important and irreducible is: You need talented people making stuff that’s good. That’s the business. You can talk about economic forces and trajectories trends and all that, but the constant is you need talented people making good stuff. I’m more focused on a version of the business in which the identification of talent and the support and the freedom that talent is given is primary.

 

AP: This is the first of two films you’re making for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. What do you think about their 2021 streaming plans?

Soderbergh: Somebody at Warner looked very dispassionately at what’s happening and refused to make rosy assumptions about what a vaccine means and the effect it will have on moviegoing in 2021. What people need to understand is the economics of large-scale theatrical exhibition from the studio side are such that if it’s not at 100% potential capacity, it’s really not worth doing. It’s a risky business at best. If it were even 20% off, that creates panic. You can’t risk a $200 million asset on that assumption. You have to know.

 

AP: Do you think the kinds of movies that get made will change if the industry permanently shifts toward streaming?

Soderbergh: Blockbusters are not going away. Anybody who thinks the studios have somehow lost faith in people going to the movies, no. When you make a movie that blows up at the box office, that’s just too lucrative to ever abandon. They would love to have movies in theaters now. They’re just trying to figure out what to do with these assets that are sitting on the shelf, getting stale. There’s a zeitgeist aspect to any movie that makes $1 billion, and it’s got an expiration date.

 

LET THEM ALL TALK (2020)

R

Comedy, Drama

A famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Deborah Eisenberg

Producer: Gregory Jacobs

Release date: Dec. 10, 2020

Production Company: Extension 765

Distributor: HBO Max

Cast: Lucas Hedges, Meryl Streep/Alice, Gemma Chan, Candice Bergen

Genres: Drama

Status: Awaiting Release

Start Date 08/14/2019

Wrap Date 08/28/2019

Ratings: MPAA, R

Logline: A celebrated author takes a journey with old friends to have some fun and heal old wounds.

Synopsis: A celebrated author takes a journey with some old friends to have some fun and heal old wounds. Her nephew comes along to wrangle the ladies as well as her new literary agent who is desperate to find out about her next book.

Filming Locations

  • RMS Queen Mary 2
  • New York City, New York, USA
  • England, UK

Notes:

August 2019 – Filming taking place on board the ocean liner Queen Mary 2 on a transatlantic crossing between New York and Southampton.

The screenplay only consists of outline of scenes. All the dialogue was improvised by the cast.

 

THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (2016-)

TV-MA

TV Series | 27 min | Drama

Anthology television series based on Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience.”

Seasons 3, 2, 1

Creators: Lodge Kerrigan (created by) | Amy Seimetz (created by)

Executive Producer: Steven Soderbergh (10 episodes, 2021)

Status: Released

Release date: April 10, 2016

Production Company: Transactional Pictures

Distributor: Starz!

Cast: Riley Keough/Christine Reade, Paul Sparks/David Tellis, Mary Lynn Rajskub/Erin Roberts

Plot Summary

Based on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 movie of the same title, this anthology series is set in Washington DC in the days leading up to the presidential election and centers on a high-end NYC escort, Christine (Riley Keough), who offers clients “the girlfriend experience” while leading a double life as a young attorney in training.

Country of Origin: USA

Languages: English, French

Filming Locations

  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Canada
  • Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (hotel interior and exterior)
  • Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Sushi Restaurant)
  • London, England, UK (Season 3)

Notes:

  • Kate Lyn Sheiland Paul Sparks both worked on the Netflix series, House of Cards.
  • Actually based in Chicago, not New York. The movie this series is based on, The Girlfriend Experience, was set in New York.
  • Amy Seimetzand Kate Lyn Sheil appeared in You’re Next.
  • Although the characters are different, Christine Reade has the same first name and alias “Chelsea”, as Christine in The Girlfriend Experience
  • Producer Steven Soderbergh, who also directed the movie of which the show is inspired by, wanted to approach the making of the show as a creative experiment, so he proposed a male/female filmmaker duo which hadn’t worked together before, in this case Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, to write and direct season 1. Both Kerrigan and Seimetz talked later about the difficulty of the experience, so it wasn’t a surprise when season 2 presented a two-story structure where said stories were completely independent, each one written and directed by the directors on their own. For season 3, however, which was greenlight a year an a half after the finale of season 2, Soderbergh seemed to have forgone the experiment approach, because he just hired Anja Marquardt to do 10 episodes.

 

NO SUDDEN MOVE

Crime, Drama, Thriller

A group of criminals that are brought together under mysterious circumstances and have to work together to uncover what’s really going on when their simple job goes completely sideways.

Director Steven Soderbergh

Writer Ed Solomon

Producer Casey Silver

Status: Post-Production

Production Company: HBO Max

Distributor: HBO Max

Cast: Noah Jupe, Kieran Culkin, Matt Damon, Jon Hamm

Filming Locations

  • Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Michigan, USA

Notes:

Josh Brolin was originally cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with his TV show. Jon Hamm later stepped in.

Sebastian StanJohn Cena, Nicolas Cage and George Clooney were originally cast but were forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts after the movie’s shoot was delayed from spring 2020 to autumn 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicolas Cage was considered for a role

 

DAD STRANGELOVE

Documentary

“The most important thing in writing is the capacity to astonish, not shock-shock is a worn-out phrase-but astonish – Where you find smugness you find something worth blasting-and I want to blast it.” -Terry Southern, 1964. In DAD …See more

Read more: Plot summary

Director Nile Southern

Writer Nile Southern

Producers: Kurt Kittleson Diane Markrow Nile Southern

Status: Filming

Production Company: Now Dig This

Cast: Gore Vidal/Self, Norman Jewison/Self, Ted Kotcheff/Self

Plot Summary

“The most important thing in writing is the capacity to astonish, not shock-shock is a worn-out phrase-but astonish – Where you find smugness you find something worth blasting-and I want to blast it.” -Terry Southern, 1964. In DAD STRANGELOVE Nile Southern tells the astonishing tale of his legendary father; Terry Southern, a satirist and reluctant ’60s icon (Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider, The Loved One, Candy, Barbarella, The Magic Christian) who helped forge many of the cultural signposts that defined his extraordinarily creative and turbulent times. His impulse to satirize a society consumed by militarism and greed are hilariously dark cautionary tales that continue to resonate today.

 

THE OSCARS (2021)

TV Special

Producers: Jesse Collins Stacey Sher Steven Soderbergh

Status: Pre-Production

Release date: April 25, 2021

Production Company: Jesse Collins Entertainment

Distributor: ABC

Filming Locations

  • Dolby Theatre – 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood & Highland Center, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

 

UNTITLED KIBAATE AOLYSIUS SSALONGO DOCUMENTARY

Documentary

Director Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

Writer Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

Producer Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

Executive Producer: Steven Soderbergh

Status: Pre-Production

Cast: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine/Self, Kibaate Aloysius Ssalongo/Self

Filming Locations

  • Mbirizi, Uganda (on location)

 

THE GREAT ANTONIO

Comedy

A conquistador finds himself an extra on the 21st Century film set of his own biopic.

Writers: Vince Beiser Solly Granatstein

Producer Annie Granatstein

Executive Producer: Steven Soderbergh

Status: Development Unknown

 

MAKING JACK FALCONE

Crime

Cuban-American FBI agent Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, also known as Jack Falcone, successfully infiltrates the Gambino crime family.

Writer Peter Buchman (screenplay)

Producers: John Henson Michael Shamberg Stacey Sher

Executive Producer: Steven Soderbergh

Status: Development Unknown

Production Company: Double Feature Films

 

CLEO

Drama, Musical, Romance

A 1920s-set, song-and-dance retelling of the story of Cleopatra, Antony, and Caesar.

Writer James Greer (screenplay)

Producers: Casey Silver Steven Soderbergh

Status: Development Unknown

Budget: $30M

Production Company: Alliance Cinema

Notes:

Hugh Jackman dropped out to host The 81st Annual Academy Awards

 

A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES

Comedy

An eccentric slob named Ignatius J. Reilly lives with his mother in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Writers: Phil Johnston Scott Kramer Steven Soderbergh John Kennedy Toole (novel)

Producer Scott Rudin

Status: Development Unknown

Production Company: Paramount Pictures