Steven Soderbergh Denies Retirement, Insists He Is Taking Sabbatical
Posted on Mon Sep 5, 2011 03:08 PM PDT

StevenSoderbergh200.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - Shortly after announcing his retirement from directing, Steven Soderbergh now insists his leave is temporary.

"It's less dramatic than it sounds; it's just a sabbatical," Soderbergh shared with reporters at the Venice Film Festival, where his film Contagion premiered on Saturday.

The director told The New York Times last week that he planned to pursue painting in lieu of filmmaking. "I'm interested in exploring another art form while I have the time and ability to do.”

Soderbergh has fueled speculation about his retirement since 2009, when he revealed to The Observer, “I feel I need to recalibrate, so I can discover something new. I'm out of ways of telling art."

Soderbergh still has a number of film projects underway, including a film adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and a Liberace biopic starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. His male stripper flick Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, is now in preproduction.