Our wait for details on the Magic Mike sequel set to hit theaters in July 2015 is over, ladies and (gay) gentlemen. Thanks to GQ’s July 2014 cover story on Channing Tatum (read it here in its entirety) we now know the plot will revolve around our favorite male exotic dancers going to a strippers’ convention. According to GQ, that’s the first memory of his stripper days Tatum shared with his producing partner Reid Carolin when pitching the first film: “I want to do the story of when I’m in a dark U-Haul with a bunch of these guys and we’re doing drugs driving up to the stripper convention.” Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh told them the idea wasn’t a scene in the movie – it was a movie in itself. So the sequel will now be inspired by two conventions Tatum attended when he was 19. “The women would come from miles and miles around,” Tatum says, recalling one audience numbering 3,000. “Then you lock the doors and you say all bets are off. It gets zany and crazy, and it’s a wild ride. It’s an incubator for insanity. It doesn’t matter almost what you do onstage. I don’t want to put anything in black and white on a page, but if you’ve been to one, you know how crazy it gets, and now pour kerosene on that. You’ve seen Magic Mike – now multiply that. Mob mentality. It’s just exponentially crazier. I thought it was absolutely insane.”
The article also reveals that while Soderbergh’s producing partner Greg Jacobs will direct the “on-the-road adventure,” the retired director will still be the director of photography and camera operator, as well as the film editor. “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,” Soderbergh says.
First thought: Imagine 3,000 extras. They should encourage women to bring their own singles and whatever money the cast earns goes to a charity of Tatum’s choice. Second thought: This plot seems to remedy the three tiny complaints about the first film — that we didn’t get to know the other strippers well (looking at you, Big Dick Richie and whatever Matt Bomer’s character was named), that there wasn’t enough dancing, and that Tatum’s love interest was wooden (presumably all significant others stay at home).
Below are other fun tidbits from the GQ cover story, which again, is worth reading in its entirety:
• There’s a reason Chan (or Chanimal, to his mother) was believable in She’s the Man: “Soccer was the first sport that my parents put me in, and ultimately all the parents kind of came over to my mom and were, ‘We think Channing would be better at football.… We love him, he’s really great, but he’s kind of hurting our children.’ I was just a little wild.”
• You’ve seen him reenact the Dirty Dancing lift with his dog. Well, he can probably do the pottery wheel scene, too: In what is my favorite GQ cover story interview location since Taylor Lautner took a writer to an Olive Garden, Tatum suggested that he and his crutches-bound profiler go to the paint-your-own-pottery store Color Me Mine because he got into sculpting when he was filming Haywire in Santa Fe and has “always wanted to paint my own bowls and dishes and s–t.” (If you’re dying to know what Tatum painted, jump to the final page of the piece.)
• You’re going to hear a lot about his claim that he’s a “high-functioning alcoholic”: I’ve already received an email from one addiction specialist who is “available for comment.” Perhaps it’s a “cry for help,” as that person suggests, but if you read the quote in context, you could argue it’s hyperbolic.
He likes to sculpt at night, with a bottle of wine or a glass of bourbon. “I probably drink too much, you know,” he says. “My wife, that’s what she bought into.… I’m probably a pretty high-functioning, I guess, you know, I would say, alcoholic, I guess.” He likes how it slows down his mind. “There’s probably a tendency to escape. I equate it to creativity, and I definitely equate it to having a good time.” Still, he says, nothing makes you cut back like having a baby, and he’ll not drink for four months when they make the Magic Mike sequel. “Then, at the end of that movie,” he says, “it’s go time.”
• On a lighter note, he and your 5-year-old niece have something in common: “I just love cake,” he explains. “Confetti cake, to be specific. It has little colored candies inside the cake, and then you get the confetti icing, which is really hard to find sometimes…. It’s really hard to explain to people, because it’s not icing with sprinkles on top. It’s icing that actually has candies inside of it. It’s Funfetti icing…. The icing, coupled with the actual confetti cake. It’s a beautiful mix. It is an angel sent from heaven.”
• You’ll be left wondering what bet Tatum and Jonah Hill have made about how much 22 Jump Street will earn its opening weekend: Hill has yet to pay up on their bet for the first film’s: “I will kiss your tip! I will kiss the tip of your d— through your underwear if we make $35 million.”