Steven Soderbergh Announces Retirement

Academy Award-winning director of 'Traffic' to hang up his spurs after his next two movies.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Steven Soderbergh Announces Retirement

Well, there goes Ocean’s 14: writer/director/producer Steven Soderbergh is retiring from filmmaking. The director of such acclaimed films as Traffic, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight  and Sex, Lies and Videotape is going to finish his next two films and then call it quits, according to a report at Hollywood Reporter. In an interview that will be airing tonight at Studio 360, Soderbergh stated, "When you reach the point where you’re like if I have to get into another van to do another scout I’m just going to shoot myself, it’s time to let somebody else who’s still excited about getting in the van, get in the van." Um, no offense, but I’ll do it…

Soderbergh’s career has had an interesting trajectory, starting out strong with Sex, Lies and Videotape, his debut film which won the Palme D’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. For most of the 1990’s he made acclaimed but very independent movies like Schizopolis and King of the Hill (no relation to the Mike Judge sitcom) before hitting a sudden career zenith at the turn of the century, banging out critical smashes and box office successes one after the other, with modern classics like Out of Sight, The Limey and Traffic (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director) balancing well-received hits like Erin Brockovich and Ocean’s Eleven. Since then he’s bounced back-and-forth from little seen indie flicks like The Girlfriend Experience and his two-part epic biopic Che to profitable sequels to the Ocean’s franchise.

If Soderbergh sticks to his guns – and he wouldn’t be the first prominent star to backtrack on his retirement plans, after such heavyweights as Michael Jordan and Hayao Miyazaki announced their intentions to quit their respective industries before letting themselves get pulled back in – his last two movies would be the biopic Liberace, starring The Informant‘s Matt Damon, and the more ‘Hollywood’ production The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starring his Out of Sight pal George Clooney. "That’s a great way to step off," Soderbergh noted.

Crave Online will be back with more Steven Soderbergh news, since we apparently have at least a couple of years before he’s actually done with the industry.

Photo Credit: Johnny Louis/WENN