Thandiwe Newton denies ‘Magic Mike’ firing over Tatum spat

Thandiwe Newton’s camp is denying reports that she left the third installment of the “Magic Mike” trilogy over a disagreement with Channing Tatum, the film’s star and producer.

The “Westworld” actor, who was set to co-star with Tatum in the forthcoming stripper saga “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” reportedly exited the Warner Bros. film after shooting for 11 days in London.

“Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters,” a spokesperson for Warner Bros. said in a statement Wednesday.

But a report in the Sun that same day claimed that she and Tatum, whose early life as a stripper the “Magic Mike” movies are based on, had fallen out last week when discussing Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. The British tabloid also claimed that Newtown had been fired.

That prompted representatives for the “God’s Country” star to respond to the reports, calling them “completely inaccurate,” The Times has confirmed.

Oscar winner and “The Eternals” star Salma Hayek has replaced Newton in the Steven Soderbergh-directed film, which is being made exclusively for Warner Bros.’ streaming arm HBO Max.

Soderbergh returns to the franchise after directing the 2012 hit “Magic Mike” and passing the 2015 sequel “Magic Mike XXL” to director Gregory Jacobs. Reid Carolin is also back as a screenwriter and is producing the film with Jacobs, Nick Wechsler and Peter Kiernan.

Plot details have been under wraps, but Tatum has previously described the third installment as “the Super Bowl of stripping” and that it would feature dancers from several genres. In February, the “Dog” and “Step Up” star also told People that it’s important that the film have a well-written lead female character.

“I want to have an equal, if not even more centralized female character for Mike to really play off of and almost to,” he told the magazine. “I don’t want to say, [to have her] take the baton, but really let the movie be about a female’s experience and not Mike’s experience, because it has been so much about Mike and the guys’ experiences. These movies are very, very female-forward. At least that is our intention.”

Newton, who has starred in “Crash,” “ER,” “The Slap” and “Line of Duty” as Thandie Newton, made headlines last year for reverting to the Zimbabwean spelling of her stage name after going by Thandie professionally for years. Her full name is Melanie Thandiwe Newton, and Thandiwe is pronounced “tan-DEE-way.”

Leave a Comment