Who would have thought that Ocean’s Eleven would turn into a franchise? An updated version of the 1960 film of the same title, it was by no means ever a small movie, with names like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts in the lead roles, all directed by Steven Soderbergh, who was just coming off winning an Academy Award for Traffic. But it seemed like a one-time deal for an entertaining, slick, and clever heist film that featured huge talent in front and behind the camera. So it was with delight that it spawned two sequels, both of which were strong additions that didn’t simply repeat the original. And with that it seemed like we had seen the last of Danny Ocean and his star-studded ensemble.
But recent rumblings now suggest otherwise. According to The Playlist, a new film is in the works that brings back the brain trust behind the Ocean’s Trilogy. But this time rather than George Clooney and his band of merry men, Sandra Bullock will be leading a cast made up of mainly women. And in place of Soderbergh will be Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), whose work can next be seen with The Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey.
Since 2014, this project was being shepherded by Jerry Weintraub, who produced the trilogy, but he sadly passed away this past summer. Soderbergh and Clooney have apparently carried on with the plan, as the writer Olivia Milch (Little Women) has handed in a draft of the screenplay.
I for one was a big fan of the original trilogy, and welcome news of bringing any of these people together on a project. Beyond the appeal of a heist film in general, they bring a certain craft and wit, and if this version is made with that same level, I think it will be a big success. Especially if they are able to pull together an ensemble that can bring the humor and general coolness associated with this now-supposed franchise. With Bullock leading the pack I don’t see that being a problem, as she has proven herself an actor who can be successful in all genres of film, including thrillers, dramas, and comedies. The questions is who will they team her up with. That should be an interesting casting call.
It does raise the question of how associated this film will indeed be to the ‘original.’ Will it be a sequel, prequel, or full reboot? I don’t necessarily think they need to base an idea like this off of a preexisting property for it to find success. A heist film can stand on its own, and so can a movie lead be a female ensemble. Then again, I wouldn’t mind revisiting the world Soderbergh and company created. Especially if this particular version originated from the creative minds behind it. With all that in mind, the report did mention that Clooney may cameo as Danny Ocean. So perhaps we will get a chance to see the gang in action. The question is, what will Brad Pitt be eating?