A reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, starring a mostly female cast, has been in the works for quite some time. Sandra Bullock’s name was mentioned early on, with Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence also mentioned as possibly co-stars. The film would follow up the trio of movies from the early 2000s starring a cast led by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, which was itself a remake of the 1960s caper starring Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack.
The project formally came together earlier this summer, with news that the title is Ocean’s Eight, and that Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) is directing a cast that includes Bullock and Blanchett plus Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling. Now, we have additional information about the movie's full cast, as well as when production will get underway.
Ocean’s Eight will begin production this fall, and the cast is set in stone, according to Deadline: Bullock, Blanchett, Bonham Carter and Kaling are onboard, and will be joined by the likes of Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway and Rihanna. Also onboard is Awkwafina, the stage name of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising actor and rapper, Nora Lum. That’s only seven names, indicating that one more key role has yet to be cast to fill out the “eight” in the film's title (to say nothing of antagonists, love interests, or any other characters).
Ross is the director, and co-wrote the script with Olivia Milch. Steven Soderbergh, who directed the three Clooney/Pitt Oceans movies, is on board as executive producer, with his longtime friend Ross. There’s a possibility, Deadline says, of cameos from the stars of the Soderbergh movies; earlier scuttlebutt had indicated that Bullock’s character is even Danny Ocean’s sister. THR is also reporting that the film's plot involves "a heist at New York's Met Gala."
Whatever you think of the idea of rebooting another film that wasn’t from all that long ago, the makers of Ocean’s Eight have assembled a pretty strong cast, most of whom have been in a lot of good films. Bullock, Blanchett and Hathaway are all Oscar winners, but haven’t quite been given the opportunity for this sort of film. “All-women caper,” after all, is a genre that’s pretty uncharted in Hollywood, and it will be excited to see the likes of Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett in a lighthearted action movie.
Then again, of the Soderbergh Oceans movies, the first installment was easily the best-received, while the second and third were not as warmly-received. Not to mention, the box office under-performance of the Ghostbusters reboot raises the question of whether or not "gender-swapped" franchise reboots are necessarily as commercially viable as some might expect.
Ocean’s 8 begins production in October. We'll let you know when the film gets an official theatrical release date.