Ten years after Magic Mike wowed audiences, director Steven Soderbergh is back at the helm, with producer and writer Reid Carolin returning to pen the screenplay for Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
“What we’ve done with these films, this one especially, is give audiences all the pure fun of watching these amazingly talented dancers perform, but also used dance as a sort of Trojan horse to sneak
in other ideas.”
The director adds that, for this final round, the filmmakers upped the ante by giving Mike the option to really have it all…if only he can reach out and grab it.
“What is desire, what does that mean? What do love and commitment really mean in our world? Wrapped up in all the dazzling choreography and exciting dance numbers, the film tries to explore those real questions about how relationships are defined today.”
Tatum, who returns in his role as Mike and also serves as a producer, observes, “The first movie was about Mike realizing, ‘I need to figure out what I’m doing with my life.’ The second one put these guys on a pedestal and let them flesh out their characters, but it was still really about these men. Since then, women in films have become more open, more conversational about what they want, and we’d also created the live show. What we learned doing that made us want to make this third movie and to really redesign what Magic Mike is. We wanted to put the best dancers in the world in the movie, and have a strong female lead who is pivotal to the story and as important as Mike in the plot.”
Salma Hayek Pinault, who plays a steamy new love interest for Mike, was excited to sign on, having observed the unexpected similarities between her character and Mike.
“Maxandra meets Mike in a moment where she, too, feels a little bit lost. It happens out of the blue, and she does something out of character, just once, she thinks, because she’s going through so much in her life. But something happens to her, and she gets inspired by him; he reminds her of a part of her she had lost, and he gives her the strength to explore another side of herself.”
Tatum adds, “These two people meet at a very interesting moment in their lives. Mike had taken his furniture company as far as it could go and it folded; Max had been in a marriage for a number of years and it’s fallen apart. They are both at this crossroads, thinking, ‘Who do I want to be now? What do I do now?’ That’s where we meet them, and where they meet each other.”
“Magic” Mike Lane (Tatum) takes to the stage again after a lengthy hiatus, following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. For what he hopes will be one last hurrah, Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite (Hayek Pinault) who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse…and an agenda all her own. With everything on the line, once Mike discovers what she truly has in mind, will he—and the roster of hot new dancers he’ll have to whip into shape—be able to pull it off?
Stepping back into Mike’s shoes
“Magic Mike Live” opened at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in April 2017, the Hippodrome London in Leicester Square in November 2018, in Sydney, Australia in December 2020, and in Berlin, Germany in September 2021, conceived and directed by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, with Alison Faulk
onboard as co-director and choreographer with her team.
The dancers selected for the film represent the live stage shows, with guys from the London, Las Vegas and Berlin shows, as well as Charles and Anthony Bartlett representing the Australia show. This meant Faulk and her team could draw for the film not only dancers, but versions of the numbers they’d performed live, giving the choreography team a strong starting point as they adapted those visuals that would work on film. Then, the choreographers created moments for each of the dancers to show off his individuality and specialized skills, allowing each of their personalities to come through in their characters.
And because they wanted to go as big as possible, they included a huge variety of dance styles in the film: Hip Hop, Breaking, Krumping, Jazz, Contemporary, Partnering, Salsa, elements of Popping, and what Faulk describes as “athletic lap dancing.” In addition, as an Easter egg of sorts for fans of the live show, signature dance moves drawn from there for the film include “The Old Faithful” and “The Dolphin Dive.”
For Tatum, stepping back into Mike’s shoes meant putting himself through a rigorous training routine, as well as workshopping and creating his dance numbers from scratch with the choreography team.
“At 42, it’s a whole different thing than when I was actually dancing at 19,”
Long before leaving for filming in London, Tatum got back into a routine of working out and rehearsing for hours each day, which continued throughout filming once he reached London.
Tatum laughs. “It’s a full-time job, one-hundred percent. And the dancers, for me, were the reason to do the movie. They’re killers, each and every single one of them can do something that no one else on the planet can do as well; they’re one of a kind. And because of the live shows around the world there are so many of them, so it was really hard to pick which dancers we wanted for the movie.”
One of the seminal performance scenes in the movie was inspired by, as Tatum describes it, “a very, very arresting dance that really takes your breath away, a number that involves a massive amount of water.”
Filming took place primarily in Miami Beach, Florida and in and around London, England in the spring of 2022. The sun was shining as Soderbergh and his crew captured a vintage silver 1962 Rolls Royce Cloud Three crisscrossing central London, taking in the Thames, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the London Eye, and delivering Mike to swanky Bayswater. London is truly positioned as the heart of the production and the film.
STEVEN SODERBERGH (Director) is a writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. He most recently directed the films “KIMI” (2022) and “No Sudden Move” (2021), both of which debuted on HBO Max. He earned the Academy Award in 2000 for directing “Traffic,” the same year he was nominated for “Erin Brockovich.” Soderbergh earlier gained an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for “sex, lies, and videotape,” his feature film directorial debut. The film also won the Palme d’Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. Among his other credits are the HBO limited series “Mosaic,” the television
series “The Knick” for Cinemax, and the films “Let Them All Talk,” “The Laundromat,” “High Flying Bird,” “Unsane,” “Logan Lucky,” “Side Effects,” “Magic Mike,” “Haywire,” “Contagion,” “And Everything is Going Fine,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “The Informant!,” “Che,” the “Ocean’s” trilogy, “The Good German,” “Bubble,” “Equilibrium,” “Solaris,” “Full Frontal,” “The Limey,” “Out of Sight,” “Gray’s Anatomy,” “Schizopolis,” “The Underneath,” “King of the Hill” and “Kafka.” His television film “Behind the Candelabra,” for which he won a 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing, debuted on HBO in May of that year. His numerous producing credits include director Gregory Jacobs’ 2015 “Magic Mike” follow-up, “Magic Mike XXL,” on which Soderbergh served as executive Producer. He recently produced Elvis Mitchell’s documentary “Is That Black Enough for You?!?” and is in production on the limited series “Full Circle,” also for HBO Max.
REID CAROLIN (Writer/Producer) most recently released “Dog,” a road-trip comedy that he wrote and co-directed with his long-time creative collaborator, Channing Tatum. He previously wrote and produced “Magic Mike” and “Magic Mike XXL,” as well as co-directed, wrote and produced “Magic Mike Live,” the
immersive theatrical show inspired by the film franchise. Carolin and his business partners, Tatum and Peter Kiernan, founded their production company, Free Association, in 2014. They previously produced
“Fatherhood” (Netflix, 2021), starring Kevin Hart, and the animated comedy “America: The Motion Picture” (Netflix, 2021). They are currently in post-production on “Spacemen of Bohemia” (Netflix, 2022), starring Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan and Paul Dano, and directed by Johan Renck (“Chernobyl”). In the non-fiction space, Carolin wrote and produced “Earth Made of Glass” (HBO, 2010), a documentary chronicling the search for truth in post-genocide Rwanda, for which he won a Peabody Award and was nominated for
Best Documentary at the 2011 Producers Guild Awards and produced the documentary “War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend” (HBO, 2017)