A few weeks ago, a now deleted tweet from a crewmember suggested that Steven Soderbergh was at work on the set of Gary Ross' The Hunger Games.
Naturally, this sent the interweb's rumour mill into overdrive, suggesting that Soderbergh could be taking over, directing a sequel or retiring from directing to become a real-life participant in the games (maybe).
Well, in a chat with Moviefone, Soderbergh has cleared up the whole business, clarifying his exact involvement with the movie frequently being dubbed 'the new Twilight.'
"I show up in North Carolina, a crewmember tweets, 'Steven Soderbergh's here.' And immediately the f*cking firestorm starts. 'Why is he here? What's going on? Is the movie in trouble? Is he directing footage from the second one?' All of this crazy-ass speculation. People just spinning off."
He went on to explain, "The story is really simple. Back in April, [director] Gary [Ross] - who is a close friend of mine [who] I've exchanged creative favors with non-stop over the last 15 years - when he got the boards for the shoot in April called me and said, 'Hey, first week of August, I got these two days of second unit. Is there any way you can come down and help me out? Because I'd rather have you do it than hire somebody who I don't know.'
"I said, 'Actually, that works out.' We'll just be finishing Contagion and prepping Magic Mike and, yeah, it could be fun.
"Cut to two months later, and I show up to do this thing. Of course the whole design of it and what's fun about it, for me, is my job is to come in and duplicate exactly what Gary and Tom Stern, the [cinematographer], are doing. To mimic as closely as I can to their aesthetic. And that's what I attempted to do.
"But if I've done my job properly, I hope I did, by design, you won't be able to tell what I did. Because it's supposed to cut seamlessly into what they're doing. That's the whole point. That's why he asked me to come down, because he knew that I would be rigorous about matching what they were doing.
"You know, he showed me stuff on either side of the area in which I was going to be shooting stuff and we talked at length. And I thought, 'OK, I see what you guys are doing. I know what the tool kit is. I know what the rules are.'
"And it's fun in a way. I found it much more nerve-wracking than when you're shooting for yourself. Because I was constantly thinking, 'Oh, I hope that he likes this. I hope he likes that.'"
The Hunger Games opens on 23 March 2012.
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