Ocean's Eight star Sandra Bullock says the all-female heist film, a spinoff of Steven Soderbergh's successful Ocean's trilogy, is not a reboot. Bullock is set to star alongside Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Dakota Fanning, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina in the new Ocean's franchise entry directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games).
Plot details are being kept hush-hush for Ocean's Eight, but a few leaks have managed to make their way out to the world since filming began in 2016. In one set of leaked images, Rihanna was seen apparently on an undercover mission in janitorial garb, while another leak seemed to indicate that Hathaway may be playing herself in the film. Reports have suggested that Sandra Bullock will be playing the sister of original trilogy character Danny Ocean, and that the movie will involve a heist at the Met Gala in New York.
Speaking to EW, Bullock confirmed that she is indeed playing Danny Ocean's sister Debbie, an ex-con. Bullock also spoke about the perils of doing an all-female movie after the backlash that ensued with 2016's Ghostbusters reboot. As Bullock was careful to point out, Ocean's Eight is not being positioned as a reboot. Also below is a new image of the cast of Ocean's Eight.
They did put [the Ghostbusters cast] through hell. And I’m still trying to figure out why. Forget what the final product was! There were four or five of the most talented comediennes in that film. Everyone should’ve just taken a breath and said, “let’s see what happens.” It doesn’t take just five people to make a movie. It’s pretty much like around 300. So I keep reminding everybody, if you hate my film remember there’s another 299 people all around me. We’re not a reboot. We’re just a this is what’s happening in 2017. It’s not even a passing of the torch. It’s a parallel story of another family member that was raised in the same family Danny Ocean was and what happens when Debbie steps out of jail with all of these amazing, powerful women.
When asked by EW about any negative comments she and her cast-mates might have heard from male moviegoers angry about women stepping into the shoes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and company, Bullock admitted there have been some unkind words but added that she and her Ocean's Eight co-stars aren't the kind of people to take that sort of thing lying down:
We got some but boy, I mean, I’ll tell you, we’ve got some feisty women that will fight right back. It’s like, let’s just take a breath and let’s just see if we come up with something fun. There should be a moratorium. There should be a rule, you’re not allowed to say anything nasty until after it comes out. Obviously that’s never going to happen.
Ghostbusters fans seemingly had already rendered a final verdict on the reboot before the movie had a chance to make it into theaters, and things ultimately got ugly as the film flopped at the box office. Perhaps hoping to avoid a similar fate for her film, Bullock is making it clear that nothing is being rebooted with Ocean's Eight, but rather the movie is picking up a different thread in the same world. To emphasize that Ocean's Eight is a continuation rather than a reboot, Matt Damon will appear as his Ocean's trilogy character Linus Caldwell.
Whether this "don't call it a reboot" approach convinces anyone to consider Ocean's Eight on its own merits, and not as a mere attempt at a gender-swap gimmick, remains to be seen.
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