Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is gearing up for its theatrical release with Salma Hayek playing the female lead opposite Channing Tatum, but that wasn’t how the film originally went into production. The movie started filming with Thandiwe Newton, but she exited the project after only 11 days and was replaced with Hayek.
A studio spokesperson told Variety at the time that Newton exited the film “to deal with family matters,” but outlets like Page Six ran with headlines that claimed it was an on-set fight between Tatum and Newton that got her fired from the movie. Rumors circulated the two actors had an explosive fight over Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. Soderbergh now told Rolling Stone that none of the headlines he saw about Newton’s exit were factual.
“Nothing I ever saw was accurate, and there’s really no upside for anybody involved in litigating this or excavating it, because I consider it private,” Soderbergh said. “Everything I saw publicly was wrong. It was just…I don’t think anybody sees any benefit in running through this publicly. It becomes something you can’t control. Right now, to keep it private means all of us can control it, and I think that’s where it should sit for the time being.”
In “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” Hayek stars as a woman in a relationship with Tatum’s eponymous stripper. Hayek’s character pushes Mike to start a male stripper revue in London. Soderbergh took inspiration from Tatum’s real-life “Magic Mike” stage production in Las Vegas, “Magic Mike Live.”
“The film is showing up at a good time because it’s such a joyful movie,” Soderbergh recently told Variety. “I’m also curious if there is a space still for mid-range movie budget aimed at adults – one that’s not by standard definition a fantasy spectacle.”
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” opens in theaters Feb. 10 from Warner Bros.