Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has claimed a rejection letter he received from Lucasfilm when he was 21 only made him stronger. Of course, Soderbergh has come a long way from the hopeful young filmmaker who sent George Lucas a couple of short films. He’s directed and produced a prolific number of acclaimed films since then, from Sex, Lies and Videotape to Magic Mike, Erin Brockovich, Out Of Sight and his most recent film Logan Lucky.
He likes to jump around and experiment with different genres too, from heist movie Ocean’s Eleven, sci-fi drama Solaris and even an action film with Haywire. He’s also won numerous awards for his work, including a Best Director Oscar for Traffic.
The director recently shared his Lucasfilm rejection letter on his Twitter account, and now in a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment Soderbergh explains the reason he sent the package to Lucas in the first place - and why he wasn’t surprised it got sent back.
It just made me STRONGER.... pic.twitter.com/rCE90NuAXL
— Bitchuation (@Bitchuation) October 17, 2017
“I sent them a 3/4-inch tape that had two of my short films on it. I was not surprised that it got kicked back! There aren’t enough decimal points to count how many packages George Lucas was getting at that point, and probably still gets.”
“The film I made in high school is still one of the better things I’ve done; it’s basically a very impressionistic piece about my senior year. I don’t know if George would like it or not; he never had the pleasure! I was taking George up on his oft-stated claim that he wanted to go off and make art films. We’re still waiting! I’m like, ‘George, you were a millionaire after American Graffiti. I don’t know what you’re waiting for.'”
It’s clear from Soderbergh's subsequent filmography that he didn’t take the rejection to heart. The director announced his 2013 thriller Side Effects would be his final film, but he’s shown himself to be absolutely terrible at retirement. He’s since directed every episode of on the acclaimed Cinemax series The Knick, acted as cinematographer on Magic Mike XXL and come out of filmmaking “retirement” to helm Logan Lucky. He also has a horror movie called Unsane coming in 2018, and has collaborated with HBO on experimental series/app Mosaic.
One universe he probably won’t be a part of in future is Star Wars. He claims in the same interview that while he’s a fan of the franchise, it’s not for him.
“I’m not enough of a geek for that specific universe. I think I would end up robbing it of all the things that people love about it. I like the Star Wars movies and go to see all of them; it’s probably no surprise that The Empire Strikes Back, for me, remains the best of the Star Wars films. I just don’t think I would do a great job.”
Source: Yahoo! Entertainment