‘Magic Mike XXL’ No Longer a Boys’ Club, Adds Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Amber Heard

By  · Published on September 20th, 2014

Warner Bros.

It was revealed this week that Matthew McConaughey is not returning to the glitz and glamour of the Magic Mike stage to resume his role of Dallas, godfather of all strippers. It’s like you win one Oscar and you just can’t wear a pair of casual leather chaps for the amusement of some Tampa cougars, geez. But blessedly, the several other stars from the cast are returning for the sequel – including Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriel Iglesias and Joe Manganiello — all unlimitedly talented when it comes to wearing tearaway pants, flirting with drug abuse and maybe crafting some custom furniture in their downtime.

The second installment, titled Magic Mike XXL and directed by Gregory Jacobs, will also brings a trio of talented women into the mix: Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Amber Heard. While it’s unclear who MacDowell is playing, the plot involves our intrepid band of male exotic dancers heading on a road trip together to a strippers’ convention. It’s not exactly “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” with your siblings cross-country to Grandma’s, but family’s what you make it, right? Aside from the road trip premise, XXL’s details are being held tightly under wraps. Aside from the stripping, of course. So, so much stripping.

Heard’s place in the cast is also still unnamed, but without the inclusion of the first film’s two young female leads (Olivia Munn and Cody Horn) in the sequel, it seems safe to assume that Heard will be taking on the Female Love Interest, or some version thereof, for Mike or one of the other guys. Pinkett Smith’s role is the only one of the three about which we have hints, courtesy of Deadline. She joins the cast as the owner of a strip club, a role that was originally written for a man.

Now that’s something to talk about. Matthew “Dallas” McConaughey isn’t in the picture, lawbreakers, but did he succeed in creating his dream empire of strip clubs before his departure? That’s reason enough to leave the game – build yourself a successful chain to bring the women of Florida what they want and then rest on your laurels while you hand over the reigns to someone just as qualified. Or, with Dallas deserting them, it’s possible the guys just relocated to a new club and found a new leader.

The fact that Pinkett Smith’s role was originally for a male actor is promising news. Magic Mike is entertaining, but it has a problem in its female roles. With only Mike’s on-and-off-again girlfriend (Munn) and The Kid’s sister/Mike’s later interest (Horn) in the otherwise male-dominated cast, women were barely seen or heard unless they were causing drama or making out with Tatum. With Pinkett Smith in a figure of authority, and a seasoned and talented actress like MacDowell somewhere in the cast, those are already two improvements. And Heard is known to kick some ass on screen, so as a lead she’ll likely do so here as well.