Steven Soderbergh still has plenty of projects in the pipeline—Contagion, Haywire, Liberace, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., that male stripper movie with Channing Tatum—but he remains absolutely serious about bringing his filmmaking career to a close by the age of 50, as he relates in this interview with Deadline. Although he’s intentionally vague about it, Soderbergh says he’s already envisioning a retirement that will likely involve “something visual, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm still making things, but they will be under the radar and I won't be asking other people to pay for them.” And while it’s possible he’s talking about making independent videos, this would also seem to line up with Matt Damon’s suggestions that Soderbergh is putting filmmaking aside to focus on a career in painting. If that’s the case, hopefully the bit about “asking other people to pay for them” refers solely to their production, because who wouldn’t want to buy Soderbergh’s sad circus clowns or doe-eyed puppies or whatever else it is he comes up with?
But perhaps because he still reserves the right to return someday—“Maybe this turns out to be an extended sabbatical, where I recharge myself,” he says, “but I need an extended break”—Soderbergh says he regrets that he told everyone about this so soon. Still, the extra notice should give people plenty of time to prepare a proper going-away party, with Soderbergh saying he’d like “the Oprah thing. A yearlong daily celebration of my fabulousness would be nice. Or maybe just a smallish parade.” After all, he believes he’s earned it: “By the time I finish with the series of projects I'm planning, it will be 26 or 27 films,” he says. “That's plenty, and if you take volume over quality, I'm twice as good as Kubrick.” Yeah, yeah. Keep smarting off, Soderbergh, and you won’t get your parade.