SPOILERS for Ocean's 8 ahead.
Ocean's 8 returns to the Ocean's Eleven franchise, this time following Debbie Ocean - but is her brother Danny Ocean really dead? Fans of the franchise will know that George Clooney's Danny Ocean is the protagonist of Ocean's Eleven, as well as its two spinoffs. The conman was the architect of the heist in Ocean's Eleven and assembled the crew that pulled it off. Ocean's 8 is a continuation of that film series, this time following Danny's sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock).
In Ocean's 8, Debbie assembles her own, slightly smaller team to steal a Cartier necklace from the neck of a celebrity attending the annual Met Gala in New York City. The majority of Debbie's team is made up of characters new to the Ocean's franchise, but viewers do get to see some familiar faces. Not only does Danny's financier Reuben Tishkoff (Elliot Gould) make an appearance, but Danny's old pal, the Amazing Yen (Shaobo Qin), plays a key role in Debbie's plan. As for Danny himself, he appears to have passed away, with Debbie visiting his gravesite early on in the film. Still, considering he's a conman, fans may be wondering if he's really dead.
Given all the clues in Ocean's 8, Danny Ocean isn't really dead - probably. The first indication Debbie's brother may have faked his own death is Reuben's conversation with Debbie at his grave site. He attempts to persuade her not to attempt the heist she's been planning, and at one point says, "He said it was brilliant. And you would probably end up in prison." It's clear the "he" being referred to here is Danny, but it can be interpreted two ways. Either Debbie shared her plan with Danny before he died, and he told Reuben his opinion of it before his death. Or, Danny isn't really dead, he's merely communicating with Debbie through Reuben.
However, that isn't the only hint Danny Ocean isn't really dead. His gravestone lists Danny as having died in 2018, which would make it very recent in Ocean's 8, but Debbie doesn't appear very broken up about it. In fact, Debbie herself casts doubt on Danny's death throughout the movie. When looking at his gravesite, she says, "You better really be in there." Later, when asked if he's really dead, Debbie doesn't confirm whether he's dead or alive. It's clear Debbie is skeptical of her brother's supposed demise.
So where does that leave fans? The movie seems to want viewers to be as unsure about Danny's fate as Debbie. Though it's unclear whether that's to soften the blow of the character being gone, or to leave the door open for a potential Ocean's 8 sequel featuring Debbie and Danny Ocean. Ocean's 8 doesn't have a post-credits scene, which would have been the prime opportunity to set up such a sequel - and give fans a concrete answer about Danny's fate. Still, if this return to the Ocean's franchise proves to be a success, the ambiguity around Danny's supposed death allows for Clooney to return to the role in a future installment.
For now, our best guess is that Danny Ocean is still alive in Ocean's 8 and he faked his own death. He is a conman, after all, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.
- Ocean's 8/Ocean's Eight (2018) release date: Jun 08, 2018