First Look: Steven Soderbergh’s Secret New Sundance Film ‘Presence’ Starring Lucy Liu, Julia Fox & More

Surprise! Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has another new secret project in the can, his second in half a year. His latest, never publicly announced, is a mystery thriller called “Presence,” which will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2024. The project arrives about six months after “Command Z,” the secret dystopian satire starring Michael Cera that he released this summer on his website.

‘Command Z’ Review: Steven Soderbergh Travels Back In Time To Amuse With 2023 Cultural Satire About Our Impending Doom

“Presence” sounds very different, and details are sparse so far, at least compared to what’s been revealed through Sundance. The film was written by David Koepp, the writer behind Soderbergh’s 2022 thriller, “Kimi” for HBO Max and Warners.

The sparse logline says the film is about a family who moves into a suburban house and becomes convinced they’re not alone.

The film stars Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan (of Soderbergh’s Cinemax series “The Knick”), Callina Liang (“Tell Me Everything”), Julia Fox, Eddy Maday and West Mulholland (“Dark Harvest”).

The film was produced by Julie M. Anderson and Ken Meyer and made its world premiere in the Premieres section of Sundance. That’s all that’s public.

But we’ve uncovered a few minor details. For one, we’re told it’s something of a ghost story; it was shot this summer in secret under an indie SAG waiver (meaning, it was shot and edited in about six months), and while shot on the quick, it was not shot on the iPhone like Soderbergh’s last horror-ish project “Unsane” in 2018.

The film would be approximately his 35th full-length feature made since 1989’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” which was a Sundance sensation and jumpstarted his career (not counting the various shorts, TV shows, and other projects he has made).

“Presence” would make for about three projects unveiled in about 12 months or less, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” released in Feb 2023; “Command Z,” released in the summer of 2023 and this latest movie, which will premiere at the 2024 Sundance festival (if you wanted, you could say fourth, as Soderbergh quietly re-unveiled “Mr. Kneff,” his radically recut “Kafka” film from 1991 to a small screening of audiences in Brooklyn this fall).

Somewhere in between all this, the filmmaker sleeps. Hopefully, more details will be announced soon. A first-look image below featuring the 19-year-old Callina Liang, known for “Tell Me Everything” (2022) and “Foundation” (2021). She’ll appear next in “Bad Genius,” the upcoming directorial debut from “Luce” writer J.C. Lee, starring Benedict Wong. More when we have it.

Presence Soderbergh
Presence Soderbergh