All those who were writing off Channing Tatum as just another muscle-bound pretty boy have been forced to eat their words this year as Tatum dazzled in one wildly successful feature after another. Around Valentine's Day, Tatum showed his box office drawing power with the romantic drama, The Vow, which went on to earn more than $196 million worldwide. Then in March he stunned critics by making a surprisingly fresh and thoroughly funny comedy out of the dated drudges of '80s TV with 21 Jump Street, in which Tatum charmed as a former jock turned undercover cop/social pariah, frequently showing up his co-star, established comedian Jonah Hill. Then summer brought all kinds of heat with the stripper stunner Magic Mike, which not only won over critics but also raked in $154 millions worldwide, or twenty-times its lean budget of $7 million.
It was a no-brainer that Tatum was one of the clear winners of the summer 2012, and as such we were happy to report that not only was Tatum, who was both performer and producer on Magic Mike, looking to make a sequel, but also is considering helming it himself, alongside producing partner Reid Carolin. However, don't you dare think that Tatum is the kind of lunk-head he played in Jump Street; he and Carolin are well aware what a tricky leap it is to go from actor-producer to actor-producer-director. But Tatum tells Vulture he's got a plan.
For one, he's been studying the trajectory of Ben Affleck, who made the transition from starring in mindless action fare like Paycheck and Reindeer Games to writing and directing taut, critically heralded crime dramas. So essentially, he's a perfect role model for Tatum. Along those lines, Tatum knows he needs to grow in his filmmaking before attempting to follow in the recently retired Steven Soderbergh's footsteps, saying:
"Reid and I aren't idiots! We're not going to direct our first movie as a sequel to a Steven Soderbergh movie. That's not smart. I want to start with something very small ... make a lot of mistakes, make them real early, and then go jump in [on Magic Mike 2]."
As for his plans for Magic Mike 2, Tatum was enthusiastic but vague, promising something bigger than what's we've seen so far:
"We want to do the sequel. It's too good of a movie, and the characters are so crazy, that we want to go for it. We feel like we did the little indie version this last time, and for the next one, we want to up the stakes a little, maybe go even farther."
It remains to be seen when Tatum's busy schedule will allow for him to try his hand at directing. He's currently shooting White House Down with Roland Emmerich, is reportedly developing 21 Jump Street 2, and is set to star in the Wachowski siblings next epic adventure Jupiter Rising.