Movie Talk

Soderbergh says he’s no comic book guy, but ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ directors Russo Brothers are

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Steven Soderbergh will be the first guy to tell you he has no business directing a comic book movie. But he does have strong opinions about who would be the right person for the job.

Soderbergh, whose latest (and to take him at his word, final) theatrical feature “Side Effects” opens this weekend, has had an unusual career that’s moved back and forth between Hollywood blockbusters like the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, “Contagion” and “Magic Mike,” and more personal independent projects such as “Bubble,” “Full Frontal” and “The Girlfriend Experience.” But he hasn’t jumped on the current bandwagon of movies based on comic books, and for a good reason. As Soderbergh said in a recent interview with the on-line magazine Collider, “I just wasn’t a comic book guy.”

However, Soderbergh does know comic book guys when he sees them.

Having produced the 2002 movie “Welcome To Collinwood” for the sibling writing and directing team of Anthony & Joe Russo, he was happy to put in a good word for them when they were in the running to helm the upcoming “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

“When the Russos were going after the Captain America sequel, they called me and said, ‘Will you call Marvel and talk to them about us?’ because I have a relationship with them,” Soderbergh said. “I said, ‘Tell me why you want to do this.’ And they go, ‘Because we have $60,000 comic book collection, because we’re obsessed with this s---.’

And I went, ‘Okay, I’m just checking.’”

Soderbergh continued, “I just wanted to make sure that they were going after it for the right reasons. As it turned out they were, and they ended up getting the job, and they’ll do a great job because they love it, and I’m just not the guy."

The Russo Brothers should have plenty to keep them busy as they prepare the “Captain America” sequel for its 2014 release date. And just because Soderbergh has announced his retirement from directing movies, he’s not getting lazy. He’s finishing up a film for HBO about the life of Liberace called “Behind The Candelabra” starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and is said to be working on writing two books, directing for the theater, and devoting more time to painting.

Presumably what you can do when you’re not spending your time reading comic books.

See the trailer for 'Captain America: The First Avenger'