Channing Tatum to strip for director Steven Soderbergh in ‘Magic Mike’

Despite his talk of impending retirement, is Steven Soderbergh vying for the title of busiest director in the world? Soderbergh has “Haywire” in the can, “Contagion” (starring Matt Damon) in post, and is still attached to “Liberace” (with Michael Douglas) and a “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” remake with frequent collaborator George Clooney set to star.

Now, reports Variety, he’s committed to directing Channing Tatum (“Dear John,” “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra”) in a movie about male strippers.

HitFix reached out to Soderbergh’s reps to confirm and were told there is no “official” statement on the project at this time.

In “Magic Mike,” Tatum will star as the title character, a veteran performer who takes a young dancer under his wing and guides him through the shadowy world of the stripper biz. It’s inspired by Tatum’s real life experiences as a stripper when he was 19.

“When Channing talked to me about this, I thought it was one of the best ideas I’d ever heard for a movie,” Soderbergh said in a statement. “I said I wanted in immediately. It’s sexy, funny and shocking. We’re using ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as our model, so hopefully we’re on the right track.”

“This was a wild and pivotal time in my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled to go down the rabbit hole with Steven,” explained Tatum.

Nick Wechsler will produce “Magic Mike,” along with Gregory Jacobs, Tatum and Reid Carolin (“Stop-Loss”), who will also pen the script.

Haywire,” starring mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, Tatum, Douglas, Michael Fassbender and Ewan McGregor, will be released this August. The virus drama “Contagion,” co-starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard hits theaters this October.

Soderbergh plans to shoot the low-budget “Magic Mike” between “Liberace” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” which, if the director isn’t pulling a Jay-Z-style retirement, may be his final film.

Starting with his breakthrough indie “Sex, Lies and Videotape” in 1989, Soderbergh has comfortably navigated through studio blockbusters (the “Ocean’s 11” films), critical hits (“Out of Sight,” “Traffic,” “Erin Brockovich”) and teeny-tiny indies (“Schizopolis,” “The Girlfriend Experience”).

Tatum is currently starring in the “21 Jump Street” remake and will soon appear alongside Rachel McAdams in “The Vow.”