Channing Tatum Says His 'Magic Mike' Body Isn't 'Natural' Or 'Even Healthy'

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Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images

Magic Mike is back, and never have we wanted to hear the sweet sweet melody of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ more so than today.

In November 2021 Deadline confirmed the news of a third film, which will be created by Warner Bros. and premiere exclusively on HBO Max.

‘As soon as I saw what Channing, Reid, and the Magic Mike choreographic team did with the live show, I said, "We have to make another movie." Mike Lane’s dream of connecting people through dance must be realised,' screenwriter Steven Soderbergh told the publication.

In recent years the Magic Mike franchise has gone from strength-to-strength, with the first two films grossing nearly £225 million ($300 million) worldwide and developing into a live stage show (more on that below).

Photo credit: Fred Duval - Getty Images
Photo credit: Fred Duval - Getty Images

While we limber up for a third film and practice our fangirl squealing, here’s everything you need to know about Magic Mike’s Last Dance:

What is the Magic Mike’s Last Dance cast?

Salma Hayek has signed on to star in a highly-anticipated film. It's believed she'll lead the film alongside Channing Tatum. News of Hayek's casting comes after reports Westworld star Thandie Newton stepped away from the film for personal reasons.

In May 2022 Tatum opened up about the realities of training for his role in Magic Mike, noting that he doesn't think his figure in the film is 'natural'.

'That might be the reason why I didn’t want to do a third one, because I have to look like that,' he said on seeing a photograph of himself from the franchise. 'It's hard to look like that. Even if you do work out, to be that kind of in shape is not natural,' he added.

'That's not even healthy. You have to starve yourself. I don't think when you're that lean, it's actually healthy.'

The star noted that getting into shape for the film is near impossible, especially when it's your job to look a certain way for a role. 'I don't know how people who work a 9 to 5 actually stay in shape because it's my full-time job, and I can barely do it,' he added.

In order to physically prepare for the film Tatum worked out twice a day and had to eat 'completely right' at certain times, which involved eating food 'completely without flavour'.

In November 2021 Tatum – who is currently in a relationship with Zoë Kravitz – confirmed the news on social media that he was reprising his role as Mike Lane.

‘Well world, looks like Mike Lane’s tapping back in,’ Tatum captioned a photo of the film’s title and the names of its screenwriter and writer (Reid Carolin), who have both worked on the previous two films. Tatum has previously served as a co-producer on the film franchise.

It’s unknown whether Matthew McConaughay (Dallas), Joe Manganiello (Big D*ck Richie) and Matt Bomer (Ken) will return for the film, but by the mother of Zeus we sure hope so. Bomer commented on Tatum’s Instagram post about the film with several emojis, so whether that's a sign he's returning is up to you to decipher.

Fans will also remember that Amber Heard (Zoe) starred in Magic Mike XXL as Lane’s love interest, yet the sequel didn’t confirm whether they were an item at the end of the film, so it’s anybody’s guess whether she’s coming back for the third film.

Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Andie MacDowell and Elizabeth Banks also starred in the second film, so we’re expecting one hell of a reunion third time around.

In September, Tatum joked with his partner's father, Lenny Kravitz, about the musician's Magic Mike-like abs.

Commenting on a topless Instagram photo of the musician, Tatum wrote: ‘Good god man! What are you eating or what's in the water or the genes. It's not natural. Do you just do abs like all day?'

Kravitz replied: ‘Dude, I'm just trying to get in the next Magic Mike. Any connections?’

What is the Magic Mike’s Last Dance plot?

The first film in the Magic Mike franchise came out in 2012 and explored the story of Mike Lane – an experienced stripper who works in an all-male dance group and trains a young teen (Alex Pettyfer, otherwise known as ‘The Kid’) to learn how to turn a profit while having fun. At the end of the film Lane steps away from stripping to pursue a very PG career in carpentry.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

Three years after the success of the first film, Tatum teamed up with his co-stars once again for Magic Mike XXL in 2015, which explored Lane’s life after he'd hung up his Velcro-stripped trousers with his dance group at the peak of their success, and his decision to team up with his fellow dancers for one more shindig in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

In an interview on Lorraine in February 2022, Tatum opened up about the importance of the lead character of the upcoming film being an 'equal'.

'We are going global with this one. It is important for me to have a love story in it too,' he noted. The first two movies are about men but are made for woman, but now we should have a central character in it that has an equal partner.

'Look, I would not want to do this unless we can really want to take the gloves off. I didn't want to do a third movie unless we could truly break out of the traditional stuff of those movies. It doesn't have to be lame. It can be cool.'

ELLE UK's April cover star Kravitz - who is dating Tatum - recently spoke about her partner's film and told us: 'Looking at his work and hearing him speak about Magic Mike and the live show, I'm like, I think he's a feminist.

'You need to be so far from who this is, where it's not scary. And I don't think we've ever seen him play someone dark. I'm excited to see him do that.'

Is Magic Mike based on a true story?

Well, sort of.

It’s believed the film was very loosely based on Tatum’s experiences as a stripper in his youth before finding Hollywood success in films like Step Up, 22 Jump Street and She’s The Man.

Aged 18 the now father-of-one worked as a stripper in Tampa, Florida, which is pretty much the only similarity between Lane’s experience and Tatum’s.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

In 2018 Tatum announced that Magic Mike Live was heading to London following rave reviews of the show in the US, where it debuted in Las Vegas. The production has since found success in Berlin and Australia.

In recent years the live show has become a popular hen do event… for obvious reasons.

News of the third film comes weeks before HBO Max releases its reality competition series Finding Magic Mike on December 16. The series will follow the story of 10 men who have ‘lost their magic’ and compete for a cash prize and a chance to perform on the Magic Mike Live stage in Las Vegas.

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What is the Magic Mike Last Dance release date?

Given that Tatum has only now shared the script, it’s likely the film is in pre-production so we won’t expect to hear about a release date for quite some time.

We'll happily be updating this article as new information comes in.

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