With Magic Mike’s Last Dance in theaters this weekend, director Steven Soderbergh is dispelling rumors of Thandiwe Newton’s exit from the film.
For those unfamiliar, the Emmy-winning actress was slated to star alongside Channing Tatum in the final installment of the Magic Mike franchise, but exited the project a few days into production and was replaced by Salma Hayek.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Soderbergh debunked rumors that Newton quit the film over an argument she and Tatum had regarding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
“Nothing I ever saw was accurate, and there’s really no upside for anybody involved in litigating this or excavating it, because I consider it private,” Soderbergh said. “Everything I saw publicly was wrong. It was just…I don’t think anybody sees any benefit in running through this publicly. It becomes something you can’t control. Right now, to keep it private means all of us can control it, and I think that’s where it should sit for the time being.”’
Back in April of last year, a statement to The Hollywood Reporter read, “Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.”
In a separate interview with Variety, Soderbergh acknowledged where Magic Mike’s Last Dance stands in the current film landscape.
“The film is showing up at a good time because it’s such a joyful movie,” Soderbergh said. “I’m also curious if there is a space still for mid-range movie budget aimed at adults – one that’s not by standard definition a fantasy spectacle.”