4 Things We Know About the 'Magic Mike' Sequel

It’s ON! Or should we say…off? The hunky strippers of Magic Mike will be losing their tear-away pants again as the sequel, Magic Mike XXL, commence production over Labor Day weekend. Steven Soderbergh tweeted a photo of the movie’s slate to commemorate the start, revealing that audiences will be getting at least a few scenes of spring-break hotspot Myrtle Beach, S.C., when the movie hits theaters on July 1, 2015. What other things do we know about the follow-up to the 2012 hit? Here are the bare facts:

Channing Tatum is back in the buff, as well as co-writing the script. Star Tatum told The Hollywood Reporter in June it “will be a road-trip movie, and it will essentially be the movie that everyone thought the first one was going to be: crazy and fun and less slice-of-life and less drama.” He’ll be sharing writing duties with Reid Carolin, who wrote and produced the original Magic Mike and has collaborated with Tatum before, producing 10 Years and exec-producing 22 Jump Street and White House Down.

Steven Soderbergh isn’t directing this time — but he’s got at least three other jobs. Soderbergh is technically holding to true to last year’s announcement that he’s no longer directing movies, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be around. In fact, on the Magic Mike sequel, he’ll be serve both as director of photography and camera operator (that’s his longtime cinematographic nom du plume Peter Andrews on the clapperboard). And for good measure, he’ll also edit the movie. ”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 told GQ in June.

The new director has plenty of relevant experience. Stepping into the director’s gig is Soderbergh’s regular first-assistant director Gregory Jacobs, who’s worked with Soderbergh on nearly every one of his films since 1993’s King of the Hill. Including, of course, the original Magic Mike.

Even the extras casting call was a hot ticket. Thousands of people showed up at a recent extras casting call in Savannah where the movie will be filming. “I need people that are going to have high energy, have a good time and be able to do it for days at a time,” the casting director Chad Darnell told the Savannah Morning News. And also look good in leather chaps?

Photo credits: Warner Bros., Twitter/@Bitchuation