Steven Soderbergh serious about retiring, says Matt Damon

matt-damon-soderberghImage Credit: Jeffrey Ufberg/; Joe Corrigan/Getty ImagesSteven Soderbergh first spoke about his desire to fold up his director’s chair almost two years ago, and if you believe Matt Damon, the director wasn’t talking Cher-style retirement. He wants to retire… for real.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, Damon said Soderbergh is “getting closer” to calling it quits because the director has grown “exhausted” with filmmaking. Originally, Soderbergh had expressed plans to pack it up around the 25th anniversary of his filmmaking career, and, as it turns out, he might do just that.

According to the actor, Soderbergh hopes to complete possibly two more movies — Liberace (in which Damon will star) and a project with George Clooney (which could be The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) — before pursuing a career in painting. Damon may or may not have been kidding about the latter. We’re honestly not sure.

UPDATE: Soderbergh joked through his rep: “I’m simply announcing my retirement early so that all the various film organizations can get their lifetime achievement awards lined up.”

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
  • Zach

    And why should I care? He hasn’t made anything good since Traffic and Erin Brockovich. Just like his favorite actors when they’re at their worst, every movie feels the same.

    • Hugh

      Exactly. I haven’t been interested in Soderbergh in a long, long time.

    • But

      Ocean’s 11?

    • Unknown

      @Zach & Hugh

      Oh look, two others who clearly have complete ill-advisement on what they are talking about. Soderbergh has made some good films after “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich”. How about trying his remkae of “Ocean’s Eleven” which has been defined as one of the best remakes in the last 20 years let alone it actually surpassed the original (which is impressive in itself because that rarely happens). Also, “Ocean’s Eleven” is considered one of his top 3 best films he’s made in his filmography. Try watching Soderbergh’s “Che”, “Out of Sight” & “Sex, Lies & Videotape”. All 3 of which are solid in there own right.

      • Unknown

        correction: *remake* not *remkae*

      • Roy Munson

        2 of the 3 films you mention came out MORE than 10 years ago.

        Learn to count

        And there’s nothing brilliant about Ocean’s 11.

        BTW, I think Traffic is the best movie of this century.

    • jay

      Best remake of a mediocre film in the last 20 years? Yeah, that goes to Casino Royale, bitch. Did anyone struggle to view “Bubble”? UGH. See ya in the art galleries, bubba.

  • BlackIrish4094

    Well, he’s had some good films and some not so good. Good luck to him, I know he made one of the few good Elmore Leonard book to film tranlations with Out of Sight.

    • davey

      Out of Sight was an AWESOME film. I sometimes forget that Soderbergh did direct it.

      • Stacey Hearts

        I loved Oceans 12 and DisabledSocialNetwork was amazing

  • Zach

    Well, frankly, this reminds me of Amanda Bynes.

  • Shaddi

    It doesn’t matter if you care or not. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. Personally, and several people agree with me, his Ocean’s 11 remake and The Informant! were excellent films made after Traffic and Erin Brockovich, in my opinion.


    This reads like a stupid thing for him to do. But its probably because two of my most favorite movies are Sex Lies and Video Tape and Traffic. I guess if painters can becoem film makers ( eg. JS) then film makers can become painters. But then what will become of film itself without him. He should stay in the director’s chair for another 5 50 7 years.

  • NedPepper

    Why can’t Ron Howard retire? Or McG. Kind of hard to watch the interesting directors call it quits. It just gives the hacks more control.

    • Unknown


      Ron Howard isn’t a hack by any means let alone shouldn’t be mentioned in the same category as McG. People like you just define how little the public knows about film, filmmaking & it’s storytelling.

    • jay

      No, Howard isn’t quite a hack, but if he retired in the forest, would anybody hear? His film making is safe at best.

  • Amy

    Don’t leave! He’s one of the most interesting directors we have now. Either way, I’m excited about Contagion and Liberace.

  • Jeremy DC

    I’m just annoyed by the fact that he says he’s retiring. Of course he’s burnt out by the amount of films he’s made in the past 15 years. Take a break. Kubrick and Malick took many years off between films. They never said they were retiring.

  • mr10

    He thinks he deserves a lifetime achievement. That I would call being optimistic.

  • Milky Lowinka

    My opinion is that he’s probably burnt out on the business end of the industry. I think Sony pulling the plug on his movie, Moneyball, two days before shooting… then, after a heavy rewrite from Sorkin, giving the film to Bennet Miller was a big hit for him. I think that one probably bruised his ego a bit.

  • Greg

    While it’s true that nothing he’s made recently has been as spot-on brilliant as traffic, he’s still one of the directors who most successfully straddles–or veers between–the independent world and the mainstream, and has genuinely experimental ideas (how many A-list directors would shoot a feature largely with non-actors like “Bubble”? Or make a four-hour foreign-language biopic like “Che”?

    Also not to be neglected is his important work as a producer: among many others, Far From Heaven, Keane, Good Night and Good Luck, I’m Not There, Michael Clayton, A Scanner Darkly, and Pleasantville, among many others. Dude does good work bringing projects to the screen that are both entertaining and worthwhile.

    I think Milky’s right–at his rate, he’s got to be suffering from burnout. If you talk to most of the people who’ve directly worked on his sets, they’ll also confirm the guy’s a mensch who generally treats people well; not all that many at his level you can say that about. Here’s hoping he just needs a one or two-year sabbatical.

  • Natalie

    If this Good Will Baby exists, it would mean that Damon, at 39, would have had to have helped conceive her at 23, and then proceed to do an incomparable job at keeping this one under wraps. Steven shouldn’t retire he’s great!!

  • Natalie

    “Matt Damon and Erin Fellows have a 16yr old daughter together. They live in Toronto, Canada. They met years ago while he was in Toronto looking for locations for Good Will Hunting. The press knows and the story will be breaking soon.”

  • Photocopier Manual

    Excellent issues altogether, you just won a new reader. What would you suggest about your publish that you made some days ago? Any sure?

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