It’s been 10 years since Channing Tatum introduced the world to Magic Mike, the male stripper with a heart of gold who dreams of making it big… as a furniture designer. In February, Mike & Co. will return to the big screen to bare all (again) for the third film in the MAGIC MIKE series.
Before MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE hits the stage, we’re taking a look back at Mike’s first dance and the man who made all that magic happen. Then check out the first trailer for the new movie!
Making Magic Mike
Before he landed his breakout role in the 2006 dance film STEP UP, Channing Tatum honed his dance skills (and his physique) as an exotic dancer in Tampa, Florida. Tatum’s experiences working in a strip club inspired the story for MAGIC MIKE, which was written by his longtime friend and producing partner, Reid Carolin.
Released in 2012, MAGIC MIKE was directed by Steven Soderbergh, the prolific filmmaker behind CONTAGION, THE INFORMANT!, and TRAFFIC. At the time, many assumed that MAGIC MIKE would be a cheesy showcase for a bunch of mostly naked, ripped actors. While that is certainly part of the story, MAGIC MIKE proved to be a huge hit thanks to its timeless story about an enterprising stripper (Tatum) pursuing the American dream. The incredible choreography didn’t hurt, either.
Co-starring Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, and Olivia Munn, MAGIC MIKE is the total package: A sexy, smart, funny movie with a very big heart.
Magic Mike’s Rowdy Return
Not long after audiences met Magic Mike, Tatum reprised the title role in the 2015 sequel, MAGIC MIKE XXL. Gregory Jacobson, a producer on many of Soderbergh’s previous films, took over directing duties for the sequel, while Soderbergh served as the producer and editor.
A few years after the events of MAGIC MIKE, Mike has left stripping behind to run his own furniture business. But he hasn’t entirely moved on from his previous life, as evidenced by Tatum’s iconic opening dance sequence set to Ginuwine’s R&B classic “Pony” (a song that also featured prominently in the first film).
It doesn’t take much convincing for Mike to reunite with his former dance crew for one last gig, and the gang sets off on a classic cinematic road trip with cameos from Donald Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Elizabeth Banks. Along the way, Joe Manganiello delivers one of the most memorable dance scenes in modern movie history (it involves a bag of Cheetos and a bottle of water) and Mike rediscovers his magic.
MAGIC MIKE XXL is twice as sensational, twice as funny, and twice as joyful as the first film, setting a pretty high bar for a third installment.
Saving the Best Dance for Last?
`Following his role as the title character in Soderbergh’s 2017 heist comedy LOGAN LUCKY, Tatum took a bit of a break from Hollywood. But in 2022, Tatum dusted off his abs and went back to work. He starred in and directed DOG and starred opposite Sandra Bullock in THE LOST CITY, in which he’s perfectly cast as a hunky but dimwitted cover model for romance novels. The shirtlessness of that role is something of an appetizer for the main course: MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE.
The third MAGIC MIKE movie is arriving in theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day, on February 10, 2023. Thanks to the first trailer, which you can see just above, we know that the movie catches up with Mike as he works as a bartender. But he meets a wealthy woman (played by Salma Hayek) who pushes Mike to create a stage show that will return passion to the world. Which, honestly, seems like something he could do!
So the pair jet off to London, where Mike gets to create the show of his dreams as he and Hayek's character (and the woman's daughter) work through their relationship. It looks like a big, boisterous musical with an unabashedly romantic angle. It's basically bringing Tatum full-circle back to the STEP UP movies, where now he's the guy calling the shots. Soderbergh is once again in the director’s chair, and the movie is written by Tatum's long-time creative partner, Reid Carolin.
MAGIC MIKE'S LAST DANCE opens on February 10.
All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.