Ocean’s Eleven set a new standard in heist films when it debuted in 2001, bringing some much needed wit to a genre beset by tropes and familiarity. It was also an example of a remake done right; based on a classic Rat Pack movie from the ’60s, director Steven Soderbergh didn’t reimagine the core of the film so much as he updated, allowing star George Clooney to bring his own brand of too-cool-swagger to a role originated by Frank Sinatra. His efforts landed him two additional Ocean’s movies and have now inspired a soft-reboot of its own, the women-led Ocean’s Eight.
Director Gary Ross (Free State of Jones, The Hunger Games) has lined up an all-star cast of ladies in his upcoming spinoff film, including Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Anne Hathaway (The Intern), Helena Bonham Carter (Alice Through the Looking Glass), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Cate Blanchett (Cinderella), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) and musicians Rhianna and Awkwafina. While the exact connections to the original film are unknown—presumably Bullock will be related to Danny somehow—we also know that Matt Damon (The Martian) will be reprising his role as Linus Caldwell, the young thief mentored by Danny in the original series. All told, it’s a solid cast which, like the original films, brings a diverse array of talent and ability to the film. Now, the cast is even more impressive.
The Tracking Board is reporting that actor Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy) will be joining Ocean’s Eight in an as-yet confirmed role. His is the latest in a series of prestige casting announcements which includes Damian Lewis (Billions) as the film’s villain and James Corden (The Late Late Show) as an insurance investigator.
If Ocean’s Eight plays out anything like the original films, Armitage could be playing anything. The schemes portrayed in Soderbergh’s original trilogy involved intricate plans that hit on multiple levels. Ocean’s Eleven, for example, featured the gang hitting Andy Garcia’s Terry Benedict, which required them to con many of his underlings before gaining access to their main target. It’s possible Armitage could play a henchman to Lewis.
Equally plausible is the potential love interest. Soderbergh’s films relied heavily on Julia Roberts as Danny’s ex-wife (and later wife) and the entire plot of the first film rests on Danny’s attempts to win her back. The series has always played on a romance level, so perhaps Armitage is playing a lover or ex-lover of Bullock’s character.
Or it could be something else entirely. Warner Brothers is keeping the lid pretty tight on the plot specifics for Ocean’s Eight, with only the broadest of strokes known thus far. That’s always good news for a heist film; so much of the genre depends on surprise and intrigue, so knowing too much beforehand could ruin essential elements. Regardless, Armitage is a quality actor adding his weight to an already impressive lineup. There’s no doubt that Ocean’s Eight will have some pretty big shoes to fill, but so far things are shaping up nicely. We’ll keep you updated on all news from Ocean’s Eight as it develops.
Source: The Tracking Board