Ladies — and also, ah, gents — we have arrived, for Hollywood will soon bestow upon us not one, but two, stripper movies.
Let’s clarify that: dueling male stripper movies.
Reports had already surfaced that the “Magic Mike” sequel, penned by star Channing Tatum, would start filming in the fall and that it would be called “Magic Mike XXL.” Monday, Variety reported that Ben Stiller is in talks to star in “I Am Chippendales.”
“Magic Mike” was a huge hit for Warner Bros. The movie cost $7 million to make and grossed $167 million — those are the sorts of returns that would have any studio exec sitting in his or her office singing “I Love Dem Strippers,” especially when romantic comedies, formerly a reliable female draw, have been floundering. Studios have all but given up on them, and pop culture pontificators have been eulogizing the genre for at least the past two years. It hasn’t had much success lately, save for “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Alan Ball (“Six Feet Under,” “True Blood”) will be directing “Chippendales,” which is expected to chronicle the rise of the male revue company and how the name basically became synonymous with male strippers. Said “Variety:”
Focusing on the founding and expansion of the Chippendales nightclub by Paul Snider and Somen “Steve” Banerjee — who eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering and murder for hire and was found dead in his jail cell in 1994. Stiller will play Nick DeNoia, the former choreographer/partner who helped conceive the idea for the dance troupe with Banerjee and attorney Steve Nahin and played a big part in the expansion of the act on a global level.
Ok, so it won’t just be a gratuitous showcase of abs and pecs; there is still the MPAA to contend with, after all. Ball demonstrated a knack for depicting stories that joined sex with gritty tales of working class people (and the supernaturals constantly descending upon the tiny Louisiana town of Bon Temps) in “True Blood.”
Similarly, “Magic Mike” totally played up the half-naked men angle to promote the film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which took a serious and unglamorous turn toward its end. “Magic Mike XXL” will be directed by Soderbergh protégé Greg Jacobs.
Also related, “Magic Mike’s” Joe Manganiello makes his directorial debut with “La Bare,” a documentary about the famous Dallas male strip club. “La Bare” comes out June 27. You can see a slightly-NSFW trailer here.
Male strippers are having their quite the moment. Turns out, they’re not just great fodder for screenplays, they also fight crime.
Just for kicks, a clip of Stiller as Zoolander:
“Look, lady, you can’t just come barging into people’s lofts, wanting sex, then changing your mind, then telling them they’ve been at a day spa for a week!”