'Magic Mike XXL' Begins Production, Steven Soderbergh Steps Behind the Camera

'Magic Mike'
'Magic Mike'
 Warner Bros. Pictures

While most spent the long Labor Day weekend enjoying what's left of the summer, a hot title of next summer's slate began production: Magic Mike XXL.

Steven Soderbergh, who helmed the original male stripper flick penned by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, tweeted a shot of the sequel's clapper boards on Sunday, adding, "It's ON!" While he's passed the director's torch to his oft-collaborator Gregory Jacobs (who was Soderbergh's first assistant director on Side Effects, Behind the Candelabra and the Ocean's franchise, among other films), he has signed on as XXL's director of photography, camera operator and editor.

"He worked as a producer on the [2012] movie and has been Steven's right-hand man for almost 25 movies," Tatum, who also stars in the second film, told The Hollywood Reporter last summer of Jacobs' lead on XXL. But Tatum admitted that it would be intimidating to have Soderbergh behind the camera. "He is such an opinionated and talented man, if he wants to do a five-minute tracking shot through a forest, you don't want to doubt him. It would be like having sex with your girlfriend while her porn-star ex-boyfriend is in the room watching you."

Soderbergh — who shoots under his cinematographer alter ego Peter Andrews and edits under pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard — was happy to give up his director's chair for the sequel. "I want to be there, but I don't want to be the director," Soderbergh explained in GQ's June cover story. "I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don't want to be the frontman this time."

Magic Mike XXL will dance into theaters July 1, 2015. See Soderbergh's tweet below:

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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