A Dust-Up With Channing Tatum Over The Will Smith Oscars Slap Allegedly Led Magic Mike 3 To Replace Thandiwe Newton, But Not So Fast

Production on the grand finale known as Magic Mike’s Last Dance (and otherwise known as Magic Mike 3) is already underway in London, with Channing Tatum’s upcoming movie release reportedly 11 days into its shooting schedule. It’s apparently not too late for a shake-up though, as co-star Thandiwe Newton has just been announced to be exiting the film. As a new report alleges that a dust up over Will Smith’s infamous Oscar slap took place between Newton and Tatum, some further developments are now coming out. So, what's going on? 

Warner Bros’ Official Statement On Thandiwe Newton’s Magic Mike 3 Recasting

News first broke surrounding this situation yesterday afternoon, as Warner Bros. made an official statement stating that Thandiwe Newton was leaving Magic Mike 3.  THR picked up on the studio’s comments on the matter, and shared them as follows: 

Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.

Apologies to you fans of The Lost City who were hoping Sandra Bullock might change her mind and join the production, as this report also stated Salma Hayek will be the actress stepping into Newton’s role. However, it has also been rumored that this recasting came about after a huge dust-up between franchise lead Channing Tatum and Thandiwe Newton allegedly occurred on set. The account of which included details that suggested Channing Tatum had stormed off, leading to Thandiwe Newton’s possible dismissal rather than exit.

Will Smith at the Oscars

(Image credit: ABC)

How Will Smith’s Oscar Slap Is Allegedly Involved In The Magic Mike 3 Exit

These rumors of supposed discord on the Magic Mike’s Last Dance set came from The Sun. Accompanied by paparazzi photos of scenes between Thandiwe Newton and Channing Tatum, the whole story was anonymously sourced from remarks that allegedly came from a crew member. Here’s what supposedly happened, according to the source: 

They fell out over the debacle at The Oscars. I was on set. I watched her and watched him. They were in and out of the house where we were filming having this confrontation. It was a tense exchange of words, but suddenly it escalated - Channing got into this car and he disappeared. People looked at each other and thought, ‘Wait, we’re supposed to be filming’. After the row he just went, ‘I am not working with her anymore’. Him being a producer, it’s his movie, so she’s off the movie. She’s gone. Everything we’ve shot for the last 11 days has to be reshot with a new cast member.

Were this story to be true, it sounds like Magic Mike 3’s dancing isn’t the only intense stuff this project has seen. If that weren't bad enough, reports have alleged Thandiwe Newton might be preparing to sue Warner Bros. as a result of what happened on set. Not so fast, though. Now, Newton’s camp is refuting this rumored story.

Maeve's hair blowing in the wind on Westworld

(Image credit: HBO)

How Thandiwe Newton Has Refuted The Magic Mike’s Last Dance Rumors

What makes this Magic Mike 3 story even more intriguing is the speed at which the story has been moving. In around the same short span of time, the official announcement of Thandiwe Newton’s departure and the rumors surrounding the circumstances made the news. However, a third factor should be taken into consideration, which is the fact a spokesperson for Newton has denied the story of her supposed fight with Channing Tatum.

This further statement was reported by The Daily Mail, in addition to the rest of the supposed debacle. Recounting the Magic Mike’s Last Dance recasting, and the rumors of a huge falling out, the publication was apparently contacted by said spokesperson on behalf of the Westworld actor. Simply saying that Thandiwe Newton saw The Sun’s report as “completely inaccurate,” there’s now another wrinkle in the overall story. 

As Channing Tatum claims Magic Mike 3 will be “the Super Bowl of stripper movies,” anticipation is rather high for this streaming flick. With no official release date announced for the film’s potential debut, we’re still in the dark as to when the flick will officially be available for HBO Max subscribers. Obviously one thing is for certain: Thandiwe Newton is definitely leaving the production, so some already-shot scenes are going to need to be reworked. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.