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Today’s Imaginary Conversation With Steven Soderbergh, 2-Years From Now

Me: So — big week for you, Steven.

Steven Soderbergh: It sure is, Paul. Everyone’s very excited. We’ve worked long and hard to get to this point, so you can imagine…

Me: I can, I can… Tell us a little bit about the film.

Steven Soderbergh: Well, Danny Ocean…being played by Clooney — the big heist he pulled off in the previous movie comes back to bite him in the ass… Now he’s got to get together his crew from last time, including one more person or else he won’t have enough people to save them from, you know, these bad guys and stuff…

Me: Thus the title…

Steven Soderbergh: Ocean’s 13. Exactly. Really, we’re just over-the-moon with the marketing people over at Warner’s. Great title, you know? You can just see the movie without even having to look at the damn one-sheet. It’s easy. Simple. Perfect.

Me: What about those people who are superstitious?

Steven Soderbergh: What do you mean?

Me: Well, thirteen is an unlucky number…

Steven Soderbergh: (Laughs) You’ve seen the poster then, haven’t you?

Me: …?

Steven Soderbergh: It says — Ocean’s 13. Thirteen is an unlucky number… That’s the log line.

Me: Oh.

Steven Soderbergh: Yeah, see – Danny Ocean was pretty lucky in the first movie. Not so lucky in the second one cause he had to get twelve guys together to pay back the Andy Garcia character from the first movie, and now — oh boy… He’s really unlucky! I mean, he’s got to pay back the money in this movie to the guys from the last movie, all because he had to pay Andy Garcia back in the first movie.

Me: …?

Steven Soderbergh: It’s like Tarantino. Everything comes full circle.

Me: So, is it thirteen including Clooney or in addition to…?

Steven Soderbergh: (Leans over to publicist, then-) Including.

Me: There’s supposedly a cameo this time around from Julia Roberts, who was in the first movie, and Catherine Zeta Jones from the second movie…?

Steven Soderbergh: Yup. Julia is still Danny Ocean’s wife. Catherine is still Brad’s steady eddy. And Kate Hudson is, well I’m not going to give it away – but her and Matt Damon have a few scenes together.

Me: So, are there any real big twists in this one?

Steven Soderbergh: Well, I don’t want to ruin it but I’ll tell you this — just when you think Danny Ocean has his thirteen people… Well, some get subtracted out of that number, and there’s a bunch of adding here, multiplying there, a few long division problems if you know what I mean, heh… And when all the math is done, you’ll be suprised at the actual, final number that Danny’s got.

Me: Uh huh. Anything else the fans of the first two movies may want to know about this one?

Steven Soderbergh: Of course. Just because there are thirteen main actors in this one doesn’t mean any of them lose screen time. All your favorites are here — and to ensure that they get their time on screen I did something I haven’t done since “Sex, Lies & Videotape…

Me: Oh yeah? What was that?

Steven Soderbergh: I made an executive decision… Made the movie 270 minutes long.

Me: 270 minutes?

Publicist: (leans in) Four and a half hours.

Steven Soderbergh: But it’s a fast four and a half hours. Lots of quick cutting. You know, Michael Bay style?

Me: Well, you’ve gotten a lot of publicity this week, that’s for sure.

Steven Soderbergh: Well, thirteen IS the new twelve.

Me: What does that have to do with getting publicity?

Steven Soderbergh: Thirteen… Uh. It’s the new twelve?

Me: Yes, but what do you mean by that?

Steven Soderbergh: Well. Twelve used to be the number we used but because we made another sequel, you see, the number twelve is replaced by the number thirteen making it, alas, the new number twelve?

Me: So, you’ve sort of written off Ocean’s 12, then?

Steven Soderbergh: See, thirteen IS the new twelve.

It appears as if Soderbergh’s head is about to start smoking, so I move on.

Me: Thanks for your time, Mr. Soderbergh.

Steven Soderbergh: Thirteen. Thirteen people. It’s wonderful, really. No one has ever made a movie with thirteen people EVER!

Me: My reader’s appreciate your candor, Steven.

Steven Soderbergh: Hahahaha. Thirteen! That’s a lot of actors!

Me: Thank you. Really. (To publicist) We’re done.

Steven Soderbergh gets pulled up by his PR rep who starts to lead him out of the room as he continues mumbling numbers to himself.

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Thirteen-times-over.

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