Curious to see what Steven Soderbergh does with his time? The filmmaker kept a daily diary of every movie, television series, book and play he consumed for an entire year. It’s probably unsurprising that the endlessly productive Soderbergh — who has released an average of one movie per year over the last two decades, to say nothing of television work, producing efforts and other endeavors — was a voracious media consumer.
To a particular kind of person (i.e. me), this kind of thing is quite intriguing. I particularly like how he watched “The Social Network” twice in a single day, one watched it again a week and a half later, read “The Accidental Billionaires” a few days after that and followed that up with yet another viewing of “The Social Network.” And the three viewings of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (in black and white!) in the week leading up to Christmas. He was also working on the movie “Haywire” while dashing between Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, Andre Agassi’s “Open” and “Freedom.” (The dates might not specify when he began and ended certain products, e.g. his listing of a single day for “Infinite Jest.“)
On the one hand, yeah, I can see how he might want to retire so he can spend even more time vacuuming up stacks of culture. But isn’t this the kind of person we need writing and directing more movies? Somebody who takes in such a wide variety of quality and intelligent work? While I wrote this, he probably just rewatched “The 400 Blows” while rereading “The Recognitions” and editing his “Liberace” script.
Steven Soderbergh has said he wants to retire by the time he’s 51, which is in three years. Considering the number of movies he has in development right now, that seems a somewhat unlikely goal, but Matt Damon says he’s for real. Speaking to Geoff Boucher, he said:
“He wants to paint and he says he’s still young enough to have another career,” Damon said. “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.’ “
Damon told the LAT that he’s doing “Liberace” with Soderbergh and Michael Douglas next summer, and then Soderbergh might make a movie with George Clooney (perhaps “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.“?), and that’ll be that. If it’s true, it’s a goddamn shame, though it does make sense given Soderbergh’s relentless productivity; he churns out movies at a ridiculous rate, and it would make sense if he’s burned through any and all techniques, formats and stories he finds interesting. Oh, and he wants to be a painter.
Well, this just keeps getting weirder: “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” seems an unlikely adaptation for Steven Soderbergh to make, but the guy’s eclectic, so who knows. But now George Clooney might join him as the film’s star. This would be their seventh collaboration as director and star, and potentially final, if the prolific Soderbergh actually goes through with his retirement wishes. The Playlist also has some other interesting tidbits about the film, and I’m not going to be a jerk and list them all and keep you from heading over there, but it all makes me think that hey, if they toss out the comic “Let’s adapt ‘Get Smart'” version I presume they wrote up for David Dobkin, maybe there’s something here. Still! Strange. [Earlier]
Uh. So, Steven Soderbergh? You know, the terrific and strange auteur who seems like he’s picking projects by putting a bunch of scripts into a blender, pureeing it, drinking the results and then dropping acid and going with the first thing he thinks about? So he’s in talks to direct an adaptation of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” an NBC show and Cold War relic about a spy agency. That’s…nice, I guess? The preposterously prolific (eh? eh?) Soderbergh could make this one of 19 projects he tackles in the next year, but to give you an idea of how absurd this project is for him, consider that director linked to the movie before him was David Dobkin, of “Wedding Crashers” and “Fred Claus” notoriety. Ahem. [THR]