By Erin Strecker
Updated April 16, 2014 at 04:04 PM EDT
Credit: Claudette Barius
  • Movie

The McConaissance was a wonderful thing for pop culture. It brought us Mud, and True Detective, and of course, culminated in Mr. Alright, Alright, Alright finally earning an Oscar for his work in Dallas Buyers Club.

But are fans of Matthew McConaughey about to experience a downside to the actor’s recent success? The Channing Tatum-penned Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike XXL, just received a release date of July 3, 2015. If things Work Out As They Should, it should be a wonderful two hours of G-strings, ’80s songs, and showcases of Tatum-created dance moves (ideally with less Alex Pettyfer and more Zac Efron). But what if recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey decides he’s above returning for the sequel? (A rep for the actor didn’t respond to EW’s request for comment.)

The fear is real, and this cannot happen. McConaughey was one of the best parts of the movie. While story-wise, it would be easy enough to write Dallas out of the next installment, audience-engagement-wise, McConaughey is the leather-clad old soul of the film, always ready to drawl out wisdom such as “The law says you cannot touch, but I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house,” while simultaneously showing all the young guys at the club how to properly thrust.

An encouraging sign? He sure seemed to have a great experience the first time around. ”He was so in it to be gross and raunchy,” choreographer Alison Faulk told EW. McConaughey even came up with signature moves. ”He was the one who had the most names for things, because we would call them out. I’ve never laughed as hard as I laughed watching him perform, only because it was so f—ing amazing. The women did not know what to do with themselves. The last thing he does in his routine is lie on the ground, and the girls were insane trying to tip him, shoving money in his G-string, and his G-string ripped off. He held it on with his hand.”

That commitment even created a little Oscar buzz for Dallas and a different type of buyer’s club. So what better way to bring things full circle than to return to the dirty stage where the next phase of McConaughey’s career first began to take shape?

A gold statue and assless chaps don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Magic Mike

  • Movie
  • R
  • 112 minutes
  • Steven Soderbergh