Soderbergh Playing Hunger Games

He's shooting second unit!

For all his talk of retiring, Steven Soderbergh's list of upcoming projects doesn't seem to be shrinking. He's still got Magic Mike, Liberace and The Man From UNCLE to contend with, and the peculiar news this morning is that Soderbergh has reportedly taken on second unit directing duties for Gary Ross' The Hunger Games.

As is often the way, the cat screeched from the bag via Twitter, with production designer Eddie Mills cheering "Soderbergh's in the house this weekend!!!", and electrician Chrys Blackstone confirming same, with an added "Holy shit, this is getting good!" Both tweets have now disappeared, suggesting some slapped wrists...

It doesn't seem that there's anything sinister afoot though, with The Playlist pointing out a long-standing professional friendship between Ross and Soderbergh, and suggesting that with the film's extremely tight shooting schedule, Ross likely called in a favour, knowing that Soderbergh is adept at working ridiculously fast.

The Hunger Games is based on Suzanne Collins' trilogy of teen novels about a dytsopian future in which kids are forced to participate in a battle royale to the death as a means of keeping their home districts under central control. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz are all starring, and it's released next March. Told you the deadline was severe!

For more on The Hunger Games, check out our exhaustively knowledgeable beginner's guide. And for exclusive coverage of Soderbergh's upcoming Contagion and Haywire, you really must pick up the current issue of Empire.