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Steven Soderbergh appears to be close, personal friends with literally every famous person. It's the only explanation I can come up with for the fact that he consistently attracts dynamite casts to his projects, even when it's getting Michael Douglas to show up for two scenes in Haywire, or having Gwyneth Paltrow die in the first 10 minutes of Contagion. Despite his constant threats of retirement Soderbergh is busy preparing his next three or four projects, and when he gets done with the HBO biopic of Liberace, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, he'll make the psychological thriller The Side Effects. We first learned of the project back in November when it was going by the name The Bitter Pill, but with a new title in place, the movie is also locking down a cast and financing.

According to The Playlist, where they seem to hear about Soderbergh's next move even before his agent does, Blake Lively will star in The Side Effects as a woman taking prescription drugs to deal with her anxiety as her husband prepares to come home from prison. Channing Tatum will make his third Soderbergh film in a row (after Haywire and Magic Mike) by starring as the husband, while Jude Law reunites with his Contagion director to play Lively's shrink. Shooting is set to begin in April, with funding in place from Annapurna Pictures, the same outfit that put up the cash for Paul Thomas Anderson and John Hillcoat's next movies-- good company to be in.

Soderbergh fans can rejoice that the director's plans for retirement seemed to be totally overblown, and they can do it very soon-- Haywire, a very lean and fun thriller that's far better than the usual January releases, hits theaters next week, while Magic Mike gets released this summer. Thank God we still have this guy around.