Channing Tatum Talks Nudity and the ‘Stripper Odyssey’ that Will be ‘Magic Mike XXL’

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Channing Tatum is the man of the hour (more on that at the bottom of this post) as Foxcatcher made its way into six theaters this weekend and made an impressive $270,877 for a per theater average of $45,146. But as much as people want to talk about the movie that might earn him his first Oscar nomination, the conversation continues to turn to Magic Mike XXL, the sequel to the break out hit Magic Mike.

In the film, Tatum reprises his role as the titular male stripper as he and his boys hit the road toward a stripper convention, or as Tatum has referred to the road tip movie with TIME, it’s a “stripper odyssey”.

Channing Tatum: It sucks that we do these [Magic Mike] movies for such efficient means and time. The first movie took 22 or 23 days, and this movie took 29 days. Those guys are so much fun — they’re the whole reason why I wanted to make a second one. They were a discovery for me. They just filled this world out — that I think you feel in [Magic Mike], but you don’t get to be with them and hang out in the movie like you want to. I was like, ‘If we get to make a second one, that’s what it will be. It will just be a guy’s story, but made for women.’

TIME: And gay men, surely.

Tatum: True. It’s for all! You’ll see — we serviced that as well, in a way. [pauses] I’m choosing my words very stupidly. [laughs] One of our first stops is at a drag club on our odyssey. We call it a stripper odyssey because it’s a traveling band of strippers. This movie is a lot more fun. In the first movie, we were obligated to show the underbelly — the pitfalls and dangers of being in that world. In this one, we kicked off a lot of the darkness. We’re going to have a lot of fun on the road together. Hopefully you’re going to care about these guys, and then get to see a lot of ridiculous nakedness and stupidity.

TIME: That’s what America wants.

Tatum: We got Joe Manganiello naked as much as possible. Everyone in the world: you’re welcome.

Already set for release on July 1, 2015, Magic Mike XXL picks up the story three years after Mike (Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game. The remaining Kings of Tampa are 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.

Joining Tatum and Manganiello in the sequel are returning stars Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez as well as a fleet of newcomers including Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amber Heard, Michael Strahan, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Glover. Gregory Jacobs took over directorial duties from Steven Soderbergh, but Soderbergh is still behind the scenes serving as cinematographer and editor.

And by the way, I was just looking at this, but not only is Tatum on the verge of becoming an Oscar nominee, but he co-wrote Magic Mike XXL, will star in the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending and has already lined up roles in Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail Caesar! and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. On top of that he will most likely be seen in X-Men: Apocalypse before spinning off for his own X-Men film as Gambit. The guy is on fire right now!