A rumor is swirling that Thandiwe Newton did not quit Magic Mike’s Last Dance, but was actually fired. She has been replaced by Salma Hayek in the female lead role. The official line is that she was stepping away from the role due to personal circumstances. Warner Bros. said in a statement:
“Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.”
However, the reports from the set are very different. Apparently, she was fired due to a feud with lead star and producer Channing Tatum that reached “astonishing” and “unimaginably vicious” levels. The cause of this disagreement? Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap on Chris Rock.
Things on set got so bad between Newton, 49, and Tatum, 41, in early April that Tatum stormed off the set in West London after 11 days of filming. It is currently not clear what positions Newton and Tatum took in the debate. An “unnamed crew member” is quoted in both the New York Post and the British tabloid The Sun as saying:
“Channing Tatum is the producer and number one on set. Thandwie Newton is the number two star. But 11 days into shooting and it’s all over.
They fell out over the debacle at the Oscars. I was on set. I watched her and watched him. They were in and out of the house where we were filming having this confrontation.
It was a tense exchange of words, but suddenly it escalated. Channing got into this car and he disappeared.”
The same quoted source added that Newton behaved like a “diva” on the set before the argument and it led to Tatum refusing to continue working with Newton on the HBO Max film.
Other reports say Magic Mike’s Last Dance director Steven Soderbergh tried to defuse the situation but was not successful so ultimately Newton was fired and Salma Hayek is brought in to replace her. The studio continues to stick to the official line.