The guys who wowed audiences around the world in the rousing hit “Magic Mike” are back. This time, they’re turning up the heat and taking it on the road in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new all-male romp “Magic Mike XXL” – with a revealing new story, a fresh perspective on the future and a bigger, bolder set.
Picking up the story three years after Mike (Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them.
On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.
“Magic Mike XXL” director Gregory Jacobs echoes the sentiments of moviegoers around the world when he says, “I wanted to know what happened to these guys. I love these characters, and the possibility of following their story was something that really intrigued me, plus the aspect of Mike reclaiming his bond and his friendship with them, his realizing that he missed them and that they missed him, too. I felt it would be great to get the band back together and make a road trip movie.”
Though purely fictional, some of the elements and atmosphere of Mike’s world are inspired by Tatum’s own experiences from his early days as a dancer, and not all of it could be contained in one telling. “One of the things Channing originally brought up was his trip to a stripper convention back in the day,” says screenwriter Reid Carolin, who, along with Nick Wechsler, Jacobs and Tatum, also returns as a producer on the sequel. “We tried to work it into the first movie, but it’s such a big set piece that it was a story unto itself.”
As happy as the characters were to get the show on the road, so were the actors who portray them. “There was never a dull moment,” states Joe Manganiello, reprising his role as Big Dick Richie (BDR), alongside Matt Bomer as the picture-perfect Ken, Adam Rodriguez as Latin sensation Tito, Kevin Nash as wild-man Tarzan, and Gabriel Iglesias as their freewheeling MC, Tobias. “When we were cast in the first movie, none of us had a clue we would have this kind of chemistry, but it didn’t take long. There was some kind of providence in assembling this group. It just works. Greg has a great heart and I think that sensibility really lent itself to this script, which is essentially about bros bringing out the best in each other and having a good time.”
Consequently, while showcasing the tight group dynamic, “Magic Mike XXL” also plays up their individual personalities and talents to a greater extent. The cast also got the opportunity to demonstrate their comic timing, as the story takes them from a rowdy reunion in Tampa to some hilariously bumpy but rewarding detours through Savannah on their way to the big event.
Says Jacobs, “It’s Mike’s journey but it’s also a journey for all of them. We spent a lot of time fine-tuning and weaving each one into the story because it was important to all of us that the other characters were well developed and that everybody had his moment to break out and shine.”
Opening across the Philippines on July 15, “Magic Mike XXL” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.