Channing Tatum: Will he direct 'Magic Mike 2'?

Channing Tatum said in an interview that he could be interested in taking the director's chair for a possible sequel to the film. Channing Tatum will also star in June's 'White House Down.'

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Channing Tatum will star in the June action film 'White House Down.'

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: you don’t have to like Channing Tatum as an actor, but through his charismatic performances in The Vow, 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike – not to mention, Tatum’s solid supporting role in Haywire – he’s already proven to be more than just a disposable pretty boy.

Tatum’s lined up an eclectic collection of roles for the foreseeable future, such as a reunion with Haywire and Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh on The Bitter Pill, the part of Olympian Mark Schultz in Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and the lead in Roland Emmerich’s thriller White House Down. He’s also been discussing the possibility of a Magic Mike 2 with writer/co-producer Reid Carolin – and could even end up directing the sequel, should it happen.

Soderbergh is planning to take a (permanent?) break from filmmaking beginning next year, so he won’t be available to sit in the director’s chair for Magic Mike 2. Tatum tells German site Filmstarts that Soderbergh’s trusted assistant director and producer Gregory Jacobs – who’s already helmed the films Criminal and Wind Chill – could take his place. The actor also says he’s interested (and willing) to try his hand at directing the sequel.

A sequel is tricky, as Magic Mike satisfies as a standalone film; moreover, Soderbergh’s deft photography, editing, and directing were essential in elevating the movie above its occasionally-cliched story. A sequel makes financial sense, as the film has grossed $155 million worldwide on a $7 million budget – but it’s also for that reason that, at first, Magic Mike 2 sounds like the latest Hollywood cash-grab (especially without Soderbergh involved).

Such issues have almost certainly occurred to Carolin and Tatum, which accounts for why the two are not rushing headfirst into a Magic Mike sequel – regardless of who is brought onboard to direct, be it Jacobs or Tatum. The latter emphasizes that his priority concerning the continuation of the Magic Mike “brand name” right now is a Broadway stage show spinoff, not a film sequel (much less, one he makes his feature-length directorial debut on).

Nonetheless, even though Magic Mike 2 is not a priority, Tatum and Carolin are indicating the project is one they are giving serious consideration to. Here is what the latter says, with regards to the situation (and the duo’s tentative outline for what form the sequel would take):

“You know, we are talking a lot about it. We have a story, and it is really ridiculous and fun. It’s a road movie sort of thing, where a bunch of strippers get back together. It’s more of a broad comedy. I don’t know whether it will happen or not.”

Magic Mike, as mentioned before, just doesn’t organically lend itself to a followup – be it a road trip comedy like Carolin suggests, or something else entirely. Still, it is encouraging to learn that Tatum wants to continue growing as a professional artist, both onscreen and behind the camera. As we said at the beginning of this article: he continues to prove that he’s more than just a beefcake for moviegoers to ogle.

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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