steven soderbergh rejection

If you’re struggling with job rejection after job rejection in your 20s, don’t worry. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was Steven Soderbergh an indie darling director immediately after he joined the film industry. It took work, and rejection by one of the top movie studios of the day.

In April 1984, Soderbergh was an aspiring 21-year-old filmmaker scraping by as a game show scorer and a freelance film editor. But in an effort to break into Hollywood, he decided to send a demo reel of short films shot on Super 8mm to Lucasfilm. They rejected him. And Soderbergh still has the letter.

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godless trailer

Neo-Westerns and Western remakes abound, but you’d be hard pressed to find a good old-fashioned original Western right now. Steven Soderbergh, who after a brief flirtation with his old feature film haunts with Logan Lucky, has returned to the television world to offer you just that.

Soderbergh is producing Godless, a new limited series on Netflix created by Scott Frank (co-writer of this year’s genre-bending superhero hit Logan). The streaming service has just dropped a teaser trailer for the series, and it’s just as dusty and grim as you’d expect from a straight Western, with Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery, and Jack O’Connell leading the star-studded cast.

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godless first look

An old school western miniseries is coming to Netflix later this year from Steven Soderbergh and director Scott Frank (The Lookout). The last time the two of them worked together was on their adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight, so of course their next collaboration has our expectations sky high. Frank, who last directed A Walk Among the Tombstones, wrote and directed all of the miniseries, which stars Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), and Scoot McNairy (Halt & Catch Fire). Sounds pretty good, right?

Below, check out the Godless first look.

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Steven Soderbergh commentaries

If you want to have a great weekend, listening to a bunch of Steven Soderbergh commentaries isn’t a wrong way to go. His tracks are as varied and as entertaining as his movies. While some filmmakers try to retain some mystery about their process or films, Soderbergh goes in the opposite direction. He is an open book.

Soderbergh has recorded so many great commentary tracks throughout his career and I’ve maybe listened to a third of them. My hope is to have heard all of them by some point – tou can learn more than a thing or two listening to him talk over his movies. I’d recommend all the Steven Soderbergh commentary tracks I’ve heard, but here’s four that might not be a bad place to start.

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logan lucky easter egg

In addition to making an astonishing variety of high-quality films, director Steven Soderbergh also works in the booze industry. Since 2010, he’s been importing and distributing Singani 63. It’s a distilled Bolivian spirit he went nuts for while shooting Che in South America. The drink has previously appeared in David Fincher’s work, and now it’s in the new Steven Soderbergh film, Logan Lucky.

Below, learn more about the Logan Lucky easter egg.

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How Logan Lucky and Ocean's Eleven Compare

“They’re calling it Ocean’s 7-11,” a character says near the end of the goofy and wonderfully charming new film Logan Lucky, marking a welcome return for filmmaker Steven Soderbergh to the big screen. The winking in-joke, nodding to the 2000s-era trilogy that Soderbergh directed with a slew of massive movie stars making up the eponymous crew, might seem like it’s gilding the lily just a bit. But the reference works, both because it helps cement the fact that the filmmaker has a good sense of humor about his own work, and because it genuinely fits the story preceding the quip. On the surface, Logan Lucky has more than a few elements in common with the Ocean’s trilogy, but just underneath, this film represents an inversion of those slicker heist movies.

This post contains minor spoilers for Logan Lucky.

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ocean's twelve defense 1

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: Ocean’s Twelve is a brilliant chapter in what may be the best trilogy mainstream Hollywood has ever produced.)

If sequels are hard to pull off, then trilogies are the hardest of all. Hollywood is overstuffed with franchises, but few of those series are straight-up trilogies, and even fewer of those are good from start to finish. Even the existing trilogies that might be enjoyable have built-in caveats. Like most people, I love the original Star Wars trilogy, but it’s not a closed-off trilogy, telling three stories as opposed to being three stories in a larger, more massive series of films. The original trilogy is great, but it’s not, in its own way, standalone. Even great mainstream trilogies like the Toy Story films aren’t going to be trilogies for much longer, as the fourth Toy Story is on the way in 2019.

This week, as we prepare for the release of Logan Lucky, a new heist film from iconoclastic director Steven Soderbergh, it’s time to acknowledge perhaps the best mainstream trilogy of all: the Ocean’s trilogy.

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logan lucky screenwriter

Logan Lucky is already getting rave reviews as a “high-spirited” and “brilliantly constructed” heist thriller, with first-time screenwriter Rebecca Blunt getting much of the acclaim for penning Steven Soderbergh‘s return to cinema.

But rumors are swirling that Blunt may not be who she says she is. In fact, she may not exist at all.

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steven soderbergh iphone movie

Next month, after a four-year absence from filmmaking, it’s time to praise the heavens because Steven Soderbergh has another movie coming to theaters, Logan Lucky. It looks like we might not have to wait long for his follow-up to the new heist movie, either. Soderbergh has already shot another movie, titled Unsane, on an iPhone.

Below, learn more about the Steven Soderbergh iPhone movie.

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Logan Lucky Clip - Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig is best known for tracking down international threats as the secret agent James Bond, but late this summer, he’s going to break that image by playing a bleach blonde criminal with a Southern-accent in Steven Soderbergh‘s newest film.

Logan Lucky finds Daniel Craig behind bars as Joe Bang, an expert thief (though I guess he can’t be all that great if he got caught) who the Logan brothers (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) are keen on recruiting to help them with robbing the Charlotte Motor Speedway during one of the biggest NASCAR races of the season. However, in a new Logan Lucky clip, Craig has to weigh the pros and cons of the heist to make sure it’s worth pulling off first. Read More »