Salma Hayek replaces Thandiwe Newton in Magic Mike's Last Dance

Salma Hayek replaces Thandiwe Newton in Magic Mike's Last Dance

Salma Hayek has replaced Thandiwe Newton in 'Magic Mike's Last Dance'.

Newton has made the "difficult decision" to step away from the male stripper movie - which will see Channing Tatum reprise his role as Mike Lane - to "deal with family matters".

A Warner Bros. spokesperson told Variety: "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."

Hayek is now expected to play the female lead character in the motion picture, which is being made for HBO Max.

Reid Carolin - who penned the first two films - is returning to write the third movie, and the screenwriter previously hinted the female lead will play a huge part in the movie.

He said: "It’s really about a woman stuck at a horrible strip show like a Chippendales and then realising, 'What the hell am I doing here?'

"And then Magic Mike comes down from the ceiling. She gets to go down the rabbit hole and asks, 'What do I really want?' "

Tatum has also spoken about the character, admitting she is "really strong, almost stronger than Mike".

He added: "We’ve never done a traditional love story, and this isn’t a traditional love story."

Tatum recently teased that 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' will be "wild."

He said: "We’re gonna go big. I mean truly, we're not gonna leave anything on the bench.

"We're taking it out, we're putting it on stage, it's gonna be wild.

"I was like, 'Why are we going to make a third one if not just go really, really, really for the stars?' "

The 'Lost City' star admitted returning to the stripper franchise - which since its debut in 2012 has gone on to spawn a stage musical and a reality television series - has been "fun", because the project is so familiar.

He said: "It's been fun reuniting with the crew. ['Magic Mike'] is kind of like home."