STEVEN SODERBERGH DOESN’T EXIST

HOLLYWOOD – In a stunning revelation today, it was finally admitted that the director and film maker Steven Soderbergh doesn’t actually exist.

The name ‘Steven Soderbergh’ was created by the Director’s Guild of America so that directors who were for some reason dissatisfied with the final film could remove their own name from the credits.

DGA spokesperson Sean Hannity said:

We had been using Alan Smithee but that was becoming too well known and they even made a film called An Alan Smithee Film, so we retired Alan and welcomed Steve to the job. 

The first film to feature the Soderbergh Identity – as it became known in the business – was veteran director Woody Allen. His Sex, Lies and Videotape had been an attempt to attract the youth market but when watching it he commented, ‘I couldn’t believe it. It was just full of these fools jabbering on and it was crazy. No one’s going to go for this. So the DGA said we have this new name and I said be my guest. But then it won at Sundance! So the egg was on my face.’

Following the surprise success of what Allen had dubbed Footloose without the songs, actor Tonka Marshall was hired to play the director in order to pick up the award and do the interviews as Soderbergh.

Tonka told the Studio Exec:  

I’d been Ronald McDonald for like three years and I was sick of it so when this gig came up I thought sure why not. It was only supposed to be a one off thing because of Sundance, but then the films people were using the name for kept being surprise successes and they wouldn’t let me go. I even grew a beard but they found me and took me back to the compound. 

Tonka goes solo

The Quentin Tarantino directed Out of Sight was followed by the Coen Brothers hugely disappointing Oceans 11.

‘Terrence Malick was the guy who used the name the most,’ says Hannity. ‘He did the Che films, Erin Brokovich, Contagion and Magic Mike, which was originally called To the Enormous Wonder of Magic Mike’s Tree of Life. Paul Greengrass used the name for his piss poor Bourne spin-off Haywire.’ 

Tonka continues:

It all became a bit much and a few years ago I decided to retire, I would really like t o write a novel, but they decided that they would still use me, like when that awful Clive Owen show The Knick came out, but it is really only on a part time basis.

Tonka Marshall’s I was Steven Soderbergh is now available from all good book shops.

BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES: 14: STEVEN SODERBERGH

Rice Krispies, Coco-pops, Cornflakes, Shredded Wheat, Weet-a-bix, porridge, orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, all in unsatisfyingly small portions

Steven Soderbergh looks exhausted. He answers the door in his robe and he’s the ghost of the man I met all those years ago at Sundance, the bright young thing who had just made Sex, Lies and Videotapes. ‘I have some dreadful news,’ he opens before I’ve chosen my weapon from the mini-bar of breakfast cereal he’s arranged from me.
‘Oh, God! Ocean’s 14?’ I ask, trying to keep the terror from my voice.

‘No,’ said Soderbergh. ‘I’m retiring. I’m done. Side Effects will be my last film.’ 
‘Oh what a relief!’
‘What?’
‘I mean that’s terrible.’
‘Yes, it is terrible.’
I munch my coco-pops. ‘It’s like when you retired before Contagion and then again after Out of Sight. What was your favourite retirement?’
‘Probably right after Kafka… No, wait, what do you mean? I’ve never retired before this is the … what are you implying?’
‘No you’re right, this is very sad,’ I make a start on the Rice Krispies. ‘Why are you retiring this time… I mean, now?’
‘The lack of respect for directors is the main reason,’ says Soderbergh.
I hold up a finger so I can hear the snap, crackle and pop. ‘Go on,’ I tell him.
‘Yes, the … er … respect for directors, it just isn’t there any more. When I was making Haywire there were so many people trying to second guess me, like did I want someone who could actually act in the lead? they’d say. As if that was an accident. I mean they were right but still it hurt my feelings. It was The Girlfriend Experience all over again. Other people said I should have put some jokes in The Informant! and Full Frontal, you know, to let the audience know they were comedies.’
‘I see.’ I munch meditatively. ‘So that’s it? You’re out?’
‘Definitely. And it’s such a pity because I had so many projects lined up. Benico was on board for Che Part 3: The T-Shirt and of course I don’t feel I’ve got right to the bottom of the Danny Ocean saga. Maybe I could be persuaded if the terms were right…’
‘No, Steve I think you’ve done the right thing.’
I’m backing toward the door now.
‘If I was deified or a city was named after me … I’ve always wanted to make a porn film in which all the actors were really ugly, and me and Clooney have been talking about remaking Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Making it zippy though.’
‘No, that’s it Steve. Retirement. I got it. Bye.’
He’s running after me down the street, the robe flapping. ‘Wait, wait, I’ve changed my mind.’

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