Two more movies; that's about all we can count on from Steven Soderbergh before the director retires from the filmmaking profession altogether. That's the case according to Matt Damon, who would be in a position to know these things. Damon and Soderbergh have collaborated numerous times in the past on the Ocean's movies, The Informant! and the forthcoming Contagion, and the actor explains that his frequent director is planning to withdraw from the game in just two short movies.
"After this movie we’re doing Liberace next summer with Michael Douglas, and then he might do one more movie after that with George [Clooney], and then after that he’s retiring,” Damon told the LA Times from the set of Contagion. "He wants to paint and he says he’s still young enough to have another career. He’s kind of exhausted with everything that interested him in terms of form. He’s not interested in telling stories. Cinema interested him in terms of form and that’s it. He says, ‘If I see another over-the-shoulder shot, I’m going to blow my brains out.’"
The possibility of Soderbergh's retirement isn't entirely out of left field, as the critically acclaimed director told Esquire Magazine two years ago that he would like to retire at 51. He's currently 48.
"When I turn 51, that'll be 25 years [in the industry]," he said at the time. "And that's a lot of time to do one thing. And it'll be, like, 30 movies. And that's enough. I don't want to have that falloff. I want to go out with Abbey Road."
I can certainly admire somebody wanting to bow out while they're at the top of their game, though Soderbergh's retirement would clearly be a loss for film enthusiasts everywhere. Thankfully, even if he does plan to retire in the near future, we still have a few Soderbergh projects coming our way in the form of Haywire, Contagion, Liberace and The Man From UNCLE.