Steven Soderbergh was never retired, but he might as well have been compared to how fast and furiously (Tokyo drift) he’s working now. During post-production on one movie, he shot a whole other movie in two weeks, then created both an insanely complex app and a five-hour miniseries out of footage he shot two years earlier. And he’s not done. He’s still signed onto direct Scott Z. Burns’ script about the Panama Papers, which he’s been talking up as recently as, *checks watch*, two weeks ago. But of course, that’s simply not enough for the hardest working man in show business. Because why only make one movie when you can make three, including one that shoots in less than a month?
Four (4) days ago (which in turn was three (3) days after the release of the Unsane trailer), it was announced in Deadline had signed onto produce the action-thriller Planet Kill, with an eye on directing it as well. Him directing it makes sense, as the project comes from an idea by Burns and Unsane writer James Greer. What that idea is, who the fuck knows, as all details about the project are being kept secret. Although in an Esquire interview, Soderbergh (maybe) hinted at it being something completely bonkers.
[I]n an attempt to expand my horizons, I’m actually developing a project that is completely crazy, futuristic, science-fiction style Barbarella piece of insanity. If I can pull it off, it’s completely bananas, and unlike anything I’ve gotten anywhere near.
That alone would be enough to sustain one of these news pieces. But then today, The Film Stage dropped an even bigger bombshell, revealing what Soderbergh’s actual next project would be. And that it shoots in three fucking weeks.
That project is entitled High Flying Bird, and oh lord, what a fucking project it is (a project that is, again, shooting in less than a month from when I’m writing this). For one thing, it stars Andre Holland, returning to Soderbergh after being possibly the best performer on the dearly-departed The Knick. But as if that wasn’t a sweet enough reunion between Holland and one of his best creative collaborators, the film is written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, a playwright who won the Oscar for cowriting Moonlight (or at least writing its source material). And then there’s the actual logline:
During an NBA lockout, a sports agent, Dean (Holland), presents his rookie client, Erick Scott, with an intriguing and controversial business opportunity.
I admit, I don’t know much about the inner-workings of the NBA (or even really the outer-workings), but a morally ambiguous, conversation-based sports movie from these people sounds like the very definition of can’t-miss.
In addition to it, one more time for the people all the way out in Bushnell, beginning filming within a month of it being announced, it apparently will be shot in two weeks, which suggests it will be Soderbergh’s second down-and-dirty production shot with an iPhone in a row. So it’s very likely that the first thing Soderbergh will do after premiering Unsane in Berlin and flying back will be shooting a movie, and then having a rough cut ready by the time Unsane premieres in America. Forget Claire Foy, that fucking schedule is what’s unsane.
So, there is a very good chance that we will be getting three Soderbergh projects this year (including the TV version of Mosaic), or maybe more. Trudging through last year was now officially worth it, just to get to this point.