Following Thandiwe Newton's departure, Steven Soderbergh had to re-imagine "Magic Mike's Last Dance."
Newton was initially scheduled to co-lead the film with Channing Tatum, who also executive produces the franchise. However, Newton stepped down from the production in April 2022 due to a "family issue," as originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Later, Salma Hayek Pinault was cast.
Despite the countless rumors as to the "real reason" for Newton's departure, director Soderbergh reveals that it remains a "private" matter.
"Nothing I ever saw was accurate," Soderbergh told Rolling Stone. "Everything I saw publicly was wrong. I don't believe anybody sees any benefit in publicly discussing this. 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 be for the time being."
Newton's departure did however mean that several plot points for "Last Dance" had to be altered. For instance, the character's daughter was cast as a Newton-like, but the new script mentioned instead that she was adopted by Hayek Pinault.
“We had to fine-tune that one aspect of it, but I think it suited her personality with her daughter and resulted in one of my favorite lines in the whole film — when she says, 'Mom.’ Now I look at it and go, that’s how it always should have been,” Soderbergh said.
And don't expect Magic Mike to be stripping in this film.
"In 'Magic Mike's Last Dance,' there is no nudity, not even a thong," Soderbergh said of the Warner Bros. film. What's sexy is intimacy and genuine emotion. Something that feels alive, and electric, and has the potential for vulnerability. That can be sexy. You're letting someone inside your heart, and that's scary. That's easy."