The always-busy Steven Soderbergh will next direct The Laundromat, a drama about the 2016 Panama Papers data leak. An indie darling in the ’90s and a maker of blockbuster heist movies in the ’00s, Steven Soderbergh has lately evolved into one of the most eclectic, innovative and impossible to pin down directors in all of Hollywood. This year, Soderbergh unleashed yet another cinematic curveball with Unsane, a horror movie starring Claire Foy that was shot entirely using an iPhone. He also brought his innovations to television with Mosaic, a murder mystery released both as a traditional HBO series and as a mobile phone app.
Over the course of his zigging and zagging career, Soderbergh has also had occasion to tackle hard-hitting, topical dramas that showcase his talent for weaving complex stories. One of the director’s greatest triumphs came in 2000 with Traffic, an Oscar-winning multi-narrative look at the War on Drugs. Later, Soderbergh won raves for his two-part biopic Che starring Benicio del Toro as famous revolutionary Che Guevara.
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Soderbergh will once again tackle a timely, politically charged topic with his next announced project. As reported by The Playlist, Soderbergh has lined up The Laundromat, which will delve into the 2016 Panama Papers incident in which a data leak led to the exposure of a massive global system of money laundering, shady offshore accounts, and other financial crimes. Soderbergh reportedly has a “powerhouse cast” lined up for the film, described as being along the same lines as 2015’s Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight. The director’s frequent collaborator Scott Z. Burns wrote the script based on the book Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein. The film will go before cameras in the fall.
Soderbergh reportedly will go back to using traditional digital cameras for The Laundromat, due to its large scope and multiple locations. In addition to messing around with iPhone filmmaking, Soderbergh recently has experimented with various offbeat distribution and financing methods, including paying for his 2017 comedy Logan Lucky largely using money acquired in foreign presales. The director’s attempts at changing the game in terms of distribution, budgets and technology are always intriguing and should stand as a model for young filmmakers who don’t have a lot of money or studio connections. Of course, Soderbergh has one advantage over young filmmakers who might seek to emulate his approach: any time he wants to make a movie, he can immediately assemble a cast of huge name actors to help sell the project.
In addition to The Laundromat, Soderbergh also reportedly has another entire iPhone shot movie in the can and ready to go. Titled High Flying Bird, the drama set in the sports world has a script by Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney and stars Andre Holland, Zazie Beetz, and Kyle MacLachlan. Soderbergh reportedly will not tackle directing chores on Planet Kill, the action movie co-written by Scott Z. Burns and James Greer. The filmmaker also produced this year’s Ocean’s Eleven spinoff Ocean’s 8, which recently got a full trailer. The heist film stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway and an all-star mostly female cast.
More: The Horrifying True Story Behind Unsane
No release date has been announced for either High Flying Bird or The Laundromat.
Source: The Playlist