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Though Steven Soderbergh won’t be directing Magic Mike XXL, his fingerprints will be all over that sequel. Channing Tatum revealed that the “retired” filmmaker will still be a part of the Magic Mike crew; Soderbergh will wear three hats – camera operator, director of photography, and film editor.
Tatum revealed to GQ (via /Film) that he fought Soderbergh long and hard over his decision to retire.

“It’s super complicated, in my opinion, why he wanted to stop doing film,” Tatum said. “I lobbied probably harder than anybody else—we had many, many nights of heated debate. I was, ‘I don’t fucking get it! Why?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t need it.’ “

And so, with Soderbergh retiring, his longtime first assistant director Gregory Jacobs stepped in to helm the sequel. But just because Soderbergh decided to stop directing, it doesn’t mean that he’s totally done with film. (He’s actually been quite productive since his last feature film Side Effects.)

“I want to be there, but I don’t want to be the director,” Soderbergh explains. “I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don’t want to be the frontman this time.”

Soderbergh will shoot and edit Magic Mike XXL. So, basically, we can expect the sequel to look and feel a lot like the original, and that’s a good thing. In the mean time, Soderbergh is keeping busy with the Cinemax TV project The Knick, and he recently directed a stage play called The Library starring the young Chloe Grace Moretz.

Magic Mike XXL will open in theaters July 3, 2015.

Are you looking forward to Magic Mike XXL?