Here's the naked truth: Thandiwe Newton's decision to step away from Magic Mike's Last Dance involves putting her loved ones first.
Though the Westworld star was set to star opposite Channing Tatum—also an executive producer—on the highly anticipated follow-up already in production, Salma Hayek has stepped in as her replacement. The production studio for the upcoming film, Warner Bros. Pictures, confirmed Thandiwe's departure in a statement to E! News.
On April 14, a studio spokesperson stated that Thandie "made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures' Magic Mike's Last Dance to deal with family matters." (E! News has reached out to Thandiwe's reps for comment.)
The latest development for the stripper-centric movie, set for release on HBO Max, comes less than two weeks after they started production in the U.K. According to the movie's screenwriter, Reid Carolin, unlike the other installments, the plot of Magic Mike's Last Dance will have the female lead at its epicenter.
"It's really about a woman stuck at a horrible strip show like a Chippendales and then realizing, ‘What the hell am I doing here?'" he told Variety in February. "And then Magic Mike comes down from the ceiling. She gets to go down the rabbit hole and asks: What do I really want?"
During that same interview, Channing also teased that the lead is "really strong, almost stronger than Mike … we've never done a traditional love story, and this isn't a traditional love story."
That same month, the actor also revealed that he almost didn't step back on stage for the last dance.
Referring to a shirtless photo of himself from Magic Mike XXL during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Channing shared, "That might be the reason why I didn't want to do a third one…Because I have to look like that."
Thankfully not all heroes wear capes—some wear breakaway pants.