Critics may love him and he’s definitely a skilled auteur, but Steven Soderbergh doesn’t have quite the same consistency and cachet outside film nerd circles that some other filmmakers of his calibre have. Why that is isn’t clear, though there’s one possibility – writing.
Unlike many other auteurs, Soderbergh doesn’t really write his films with him receiving screenplay credit on only a few – “Sex Lies & Videotape,” “Underneath,” “Schizopolis” and “Solaris”. Otherwise, his films follow the same pattern with a writer ultimately doing the screenplays for at least one, usually two or three, and in some cases four of his films or series.
When Soderbergh and a great writer click, you get his best work such as his collaborations with Scott Frank (“Out of Sight,” “Godless”), Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Stephen Gaghan (“Traffic”) and more recently Rebecca Blunt (“Logan Lucky”).
Other collaborations weren’t so fortunate such as those with Coleman Hough (“Bubble,” “Full Frontal”) and Scott Z. Burns (“The Informant,” “Side Effects,” “Contagion”).
Somewhere in the middle is “Dark City” and “The Score” scribe Lem Dobbs, a British writer who worked with Soderbergh on “Kafka,” “The Limey” and “Haywire” – three of both the director and writer’s most middle of the road efforts – each scoring good (but not great) reviews and failing to ignite at the box-office.
Soderbergh has been setting a breakneck pace recently with his “Mosaic” TV series for HBO earlier this year, “Unsane” now in cinemas and he recently finished filming “High Flying Bird” from “Moonlight” scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney and starring Andre Benjamin, Zazie Beetz, and Kyle MacLachlan.