Steven Soderbergh Bids Adieu to Hollywood

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At 48, Steven Soderbergh is still at the prime of his career, certainly years from retirement right? But that is exactly where he is headed next; after an illustrious and highly successful 26 year career in Hollywood, the multiple Oscar nominated filmmaker announced last week that he is throwing in the towel and retiring from the world of film. This would be effective upon the completion of Soderbergh’s next two movies within the year.

Soderbergh’s impressive resume spans almost three decades and has tackled an array of thought provoking films. Beginning with 1989’s scandalous Sex, Lies and Videotape that captivated Sundance and snatched up the Palm d’Or at Cannes, to his Oscar windfalls (for Best Director) in 2000 with Julia Roberts (Best Actress) for Erin Brockovich and the critically acclaimed Traffic (films of which garnered him simultaneous nominations) to his very frequent collaborations with George Clooney (10 to date). Then there is his most recent efforts with 2008’s epic two film biopic Che that starred Benicio Del Toro in the title role as Che Guevera the famed Cuban revolutionary and last year’s foray into the documentary genre by helming And Everything is Going Fine, about the life of actor/playwright/monologuist Spalding Gray; it is really rather curious that he would suddenly leave it all behind.

In an interview with Studio 360, Soderbergh attempts to explain his “early retirement” by saying “It’s just time. When you reach the point where you’re like if I have to get into a van to do another scout I’m just going to shoot myself, it’s time to let somebody else who’s still excited about getting in the van, get in the van” and affirming that this was not a hasty decision he goes on to say “For the last three years I’ve been turning down everything that comes my way,” Click on over to Studio 360 for the full 45 minute interview to hear more.

Not to fret, as mentioned before Steven Soderbergh still has some projects in the pipeline at various stages of production to keep him very busy before he disappears into the ether. Soderbergh has two films set for release in the fall: Spy thriller Haywire starring Michael Douglas and the very star packed action thriller Contagion starring Matt Damon and boasts names like Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet and Lawrence Fishburne.

One of his final opuses has him working with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon once again in the biopic of the famed entertainer Liberace, which apparently will have the two male leads getting steamy as Matt Damon humbly told E! “I never thought I would get to kiss Michael Douglas.” Steven Soderbergh’s swan song is indicatively a final reunion with proud associate George Clooney for the big screen remake of the 60s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

To close out, the director jokingly (or maybe not?) expresses his “relief” in the 360 interview saying “You’re not gonna have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore.”

What will you miss the most about Steven Soderbergh?

1 Comment
  1. Peter Davies says

    The thing I’ll miss most is his incredible diversity. He seems to be able to tackle any style and genre of filmmaking brilliantly. I think he’s criminally underrated. I hope his retirement will cause people to go back and rewatch his work, or seek out the obscure lesser known films. He is truly a master of cinema and one of the greatest of all time.

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