Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

Warner Bros.

It’s a good time to be Channing Tatum. One minute he’s taking a meeting with the X-Men people, the next minute MTV is bestowing their most prestigious golden popcorn bucket upon him. And amidst all that goodness is something else to be proud of: Warner Bros. considers him decent enough competition (or at least, a viable alternative) to the Terminator franchise.

Because it’s just been announced that Tatum’s Magic Mike 2 (rumored to be called Magic Mike XXL) is slated for release on July 3, 2015, which is two days before Terminator Genesis‘s own release date in the Great Summer of All Blockbusters. Of course, the one thing 2015 doesn‘t already have is a sex movie about shirtless men (just kidding! — there’s also 50 Shades of Grey), so Tatum and his cohorts can step up to fill an important niche (har!).

Magic Mike 2/XXL‘s release date is also the first news about the sequel that’s come down the official news pipeline, and like all officially sourced news, it contains both the phrase “get your banana hammocks ready” and “drops trau.” Everything else about the sequel — that Tatum would be penning the screenplay (along with Reid Carolin), that it might be called Magic Mike XXL and that its director will probably be Magic Mike‘s first AD, Greg Jacobs, have come from unconfirmed sources, little hints dropped by actors or Tatum’s Facebook page.

Which makes it hard (har!) to talk about the film in concrete terms, because so much of what we’ve heard might be dust in the wind, or glitter gently wafting off a Matthew McConaughey. Thankfully, Tatum took the time to drop some Magic Mike info, in the same MTV interview that birthed the Gambit news a few articles below this one. Most of what he mentioned is stuff we already knew from some source or another: that Tatum and Carolin have been working on the screenplay for two months and that Tatum wants all of the original cast to return for round two. But the biggest, juiciest material is in this quote:

This one will be a road trip movie.  Without giving a lot away, we don’t wanna make it a really serious, slice-of-life movie.  We want to have reality in it, but we don’t want to make it some dark drama.  There was some darkness in the last one that I think surprised people and shocked people.  This one, we want there to be a lot of conflict and a lot of struggle, but we also want there to be a shit-ton of fun. A shit-ton of ridiculous stuff that you would never see in a movie, on the face of the earth, ever again.

So, A.) it’s male strippers on the road, and B.) it will have the phrase “shit-ton” in it all the damn time. But more importantly, it sounds like Tatum and co. will finally make Magic Mike into what everyone thinks Magic Mike really is. People stampeded over each other to see this movie, thinking it was about about penises (and, on brief occasions, the men attached to those penises), but what they got was a Steven Soderbergh movie with a lot of drug abuse and emotional anguish and, yeah, a few hints of penis.

Sure, Tatum says “conflict and struggle” will be a big part of Magic Mike 2, but let’s face it, every movie with a narrative has both conflict and struggle. Disneynature’s Chimpanzee had conflict and struggle. What most movies don’t have is an Earth-changing, male-stripper-fun shit-ton. So if Tatum says Magic Mike 2 is a fun romp across the country where men do nude activities that would baffle and destroy human minds (I have no idea what those activities might be, but things like The Puppetry of the Penis exist for this very reason), it’s probably going to please the middle-aged lady hordes much more than the original Magic Mike did. Even if we in the film world might not be as taken with it.


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