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Is Steven Soderbergh Retiring or Not?

10/03/2012
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(By Theresa Syn)

For years now, Steven Soderbergh has been teasing us with news about his retirement but has he left the big world of filmmaking for real?

We really don’t know, but it seems like this Academy Award winning director is hanging up his director’s hat in exchange for a paintbrush for now. In an interview with Metro, Soderbergh says, ‘I’m feeling at the end of this version of myself as a film-maker and I need to annihilate everything I’ve done and start over again.’

The rumors about his retirement first surfaced in December 2010 where Matt Damon reportedly told the LA Times about Soderbergh’s plans to retire saying  ‘He’s kind of exhausted with everything … he might do one more movie after that with George [Clooney], and then after that he’s retiring.’


Damon & Soderbergh at 2009 Venice Film Festival (Picture from Wikipedia)

However, Soderbergh denied the rumor and called Matt Damon out for being “as discreet as a fourteen-year-old girl” during a panel at ComicCon 2011. He says, “I had this drunken conversation with him in Chicago shooting Contagion…I was just sort of going off [and] it got blown out of proportion. That’s Matt’s fault!”

But just a few months later, Soderbergh hints that his retirement might be in the cards. “When you reach the point where you’re like if I have to get into a van to do anther scout I’m just going to shoot myself, it’s time to let somebody else who’s still excited about getting in the van, get in the van,” he says in an interview with Studio 360. “And so it’s just time. For the last three years, I’ve been turning down everything that comes my way, so you’re not going to have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore.”


Seems like Soderbergh isn’t that excited to be behind the camera anymore (Picture by All Movie Photo)

But just like an indecisive lover, Soderbergh bounces back after the proclamation of his break-up with the film industry saying his leave is merely temporary. “It’s less dramatic than it sounds; it’s just a sabbatical…I feel I need to recalibrate, so I can discover something new,” he told the Observer. “I’m out of ways of telling art.”

Instead, Soderbergh has found another way of telling art, through a paintbrush and canvas. The walls of his office – now a painting studio – are decked with his own artwork reportedly inspired by abstract minimalist Agnes Martin whose portrait too hangs on his wall. “I’m interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do so,” he said. “I’ll be the first person to say if I can’t be any good at it and run out of money I’ll be back making another ‘Ocean’s’ movie.”



Soderbergh says “Peace Out” to Hollywood for now (Picture from Alt Film Guide)

For fans of Soderbergh’s famous work in Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic and the recent, Magic Mike, this sounds like fairly good news. But with everyone but Soderbergh confirming his retirement, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

3 thoughts on “Is Steven Soderbergh Retiring or Not?

  1. Pingback: Editorial: NFFTY blog |

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