Thandiwe Newton dropped out of the film early in production and was replaced by Hayek Pinault as Tatum’s on-screen love interest.
Channing Tatum wanted the best possible dance partner for his ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ co-star. Luckily, Salma Hayek Pinault was ready to pull alongside him.
“Magic Mike” franchise star and executive producer Hayek credited Pinault as the “strongest possible” female lead.
“That was our desire to be who we are in this story,” Tatum said Fun tonight. “I just really wanted the strongest woman possible, and she came in (and) basically ran the whole thing.”
He added: “She came in and saved our film because we had a bunch of men trying to tell a story about a woman.”
Thandiwe Newton was originally cast as Max, who is Magic Mike’s (Tatum) love interest and business partner, in reverse “Pretty Woman” fashion. Newton left the production in April 2022 to “deal with family matters,” according to an official press release, and was replaced by Hayek Pinault.
“Oh yeah, I went in and you know what, (it was) the first time I felt really heard and respected and invited,” Hayek Pinault said. “It was actually very interesting because we got together and had a lot of very different opinions. It was very interesting to see three different men have such different perspectives. (Although) sometimes they look like Martian perspectives.”
Tatum added, “Movies are tough, (they’re) crazy. The film will take on a life of its own just as the show has a life of its own, and that journey must be respected for both artistic endeavors.”
Director Steven Soderbergh previously spoke about Newton’s exit, saying the “real” reason for his departure remains a “private matter.”
“Nothing that I’ve ever seen has been accurate, and it’s really not good for anyone involved in litigating or exploring it, because I think it’s private,” Soderbergh told Rolling Stone. “Everything I saw in public was bad. I don’t think anyone would benefit from going through this in public. It becomes something you cannot control. Right now, if we want to keep it a secret, we can all control that, and I think it should be here for now.”
Soderbergh admitted that the film had to be “recalibrated” due to the sudden casting.
“No question. We all spent hours in the rooms rebuilding, reimagining it to make it unique,” said Soderbergh. “At a certain point you have to surrender to what the movie gods want from you. You really do.
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” opens in theaters on February 10 on Warner Bros.
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