Retirement, it would appear, doesn’t mean the same for Steven Soderbergh that it does for most people. The prolific director of such noted films as sex, lies and videotape, Erin Brockovich and the entire Ocean’s Eleven trilogy touted his upcoming retirement for several years, even as he made such films as Magic Mike, Haywire, Side Effects and Behind the Candelabra within a short period of time. When he did eventually step away from directing feature films, he made the Cinemax TV series The Knick, executive-produced the TV series version of his movie The Girlfriend Experience, and also worked in non-directorial capacities on such films as Her and Magic Mike XXL.
Soderbergh recently “came out of retirement,” so to speak, to direct the heist movie Logan Lucky, which is set for release next month, and will star Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig and Adam Driver. And in keeping with his prolific nature, he’s already at work on another film after that.
Steven Soderergh has already shot his next film after Logan Lucky, The Tracking Board first reported and Variety later confirmed. The film, at least as of now, is called Unsane, it stars The Crown’s Claire Foy and Boardwalk Empire‘s Juno Temple – and, according to the report, the film was shot entirely with iPhones. Soderbergh, according to the report, plans to “self-distribute” the film, through his company Fingerprint Releasing.
Unsane would be in keeping with Soderbergh’s penchant of directing small and experimental films such as Full Frontal, Schizopolis and Bubble, interspersed in his filmography alongside higher-budget, star-studded and more traditional projects. Filming an entire movie with iPhones is not unheard of, however; 2015’s well-received indie film Tangerine, directed by Sean Baker, was filmed that way.
It’s worth noting, however, that “shooting a film with iPhones” isn’t exactly the same thing as a regular person whipping out our phone and creating a home movie of their own. Soderbergh likely used various forms of sophisticated film equipment, including lights and microphones, and attached them to the Apple smartphone – which then served as the primary camera. The director will likely speak more about the Unsane project in the near future, once he begins promoting Logan Lucky ahead of its theatrical release.
At any rate, it’s good to have Steven Soderbergh back making feature films – even if one gets the feeling that he barely ever left, in the first place.