Almost two years in the making and boasting an all-star female-dominated cast, Ocean’s 8 will release on June 8, 2018, at theatres across the US. With a production budget of $70 million, early estimates project opening weekend takings of between $30 and $45 million. It has a running time of 110 minutes. The fourth film in the Ocean’s franchise, it follows Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen although this film is a spin-off rather than a direct sequel. It should be viewed as a parallel story focusing on another member of the Ocean family.
Introducing Debbie Ocean and the biggest heist of all
Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock, the estranged sister of Danny, leads a group of women as they attempt to pull off a daring heist during New York City’s Met Gala. Ocean herself is recently out of prison, and this job is her biggest yet: stealing a necklace worth $150 million…and getting away with it. She has been planning the job for a long time – exactly five years, eight months and 12 days – or since the day she was sent to prison. The film’s tagline is ‘Every Con Has Its Pros’, and she attempts to put together the best possible team for the job including a jeweler, a pickpocket, an ex-criminal, a hacker and a fashion designer.
The film’s star-studded cast is led by a who’s who of leading actresses
Bullock plays the lead role of Debbie Ocean, a professional robber. Director Gary Ross revealed she was his first choice for the leading role and he reached out to her as soon as he had the idea for the film five or six years ago. A host of huge stars act alongside her. Musicians Awkwafina and Rihanna join actresses Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Helena Bonham Carter as part of the team she assembles to complete the job.
Also starring as Daphne Kluger, the target of the robbery, is Anne Hathaway. It is her necklace that the team tries to steal. There are also roles for Richard Armitage as the art curator and villain of the piece, James Corden as an insurance broker who grows suspicious of the women, and Dakota Fanning.
There are a also plethora of celebrity cameo appearances
Meanwhile, Matt Damon and Carl Reiner – who appeared in the Ocean’s Trilogy – make cameo appearances. They reprise their roles from Ocean’s Thirteen as Linus Caldwell and Saul Bloom respectively. Several others are lined up for cameo appearances including Hailey Baldwin, Derek Blasberg, Lauren Santo Domingo, Conor Donovan, Katie Holmes, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Adriana Lima, Zayn Malik, Olivia Munn, Alexander Wang, and Anna Wintour. Some – Kim Kardashian and the Jenners, for example – will play themselves; others take on specific roles.
The production team has plenty of links with the Ocean’s Trilogy
According to co-producer Steven Soderbergh, Ocean’s Thirteen was going to be the last film in the Ocean’s Trilogy. However, from October 2015 – almost eight years after Ocean’s Thirteen’s release – talk of an all-female spin-off grew.
Now that it has become a reality, Soderbergh – who produced all three of the previous films – shared production with Susan Ekins and George Clooney (who played Danny Ocean in the earlier films) and the movie was directed by Gary Ross. His previous credits include Pleasantville, Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games and Free State of Jones. Music is by Daniel Pemberton while Ross and Olivia Milch co-wrote the script over a period of three to four years. Milch is relatively unknown but wrote the comedy movie Dude that Netflix viewers may have come across.
Principal photography began in October 2016 in New York, and according to Blanchett, production was finished by March 2017. However, Paulson later confirmed that additional filming took place as new scenes were added. Some scenes were filmed at the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility while filming took place in all five boroughs of New York. The production team reportedly had to pay $1 million to film scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ross used his imagination to draw in the all-star cast
The film’s all-star cast is a significant draw, including a considerable number of celebrities playing cameos – setting the movie at the New York Met Gala wouldn’t have worked without them. Ross revealed that he created a club at the Met Gala to which he invited the celebrities he had lined up to play cameos. As they partied, they were called upon when needed for filming. Many of them shared photos from filming on social media.
Bullock has revealed that the number of female stars working on this film enabled her to bond and connect with her colleagues in a way that is not ordinarily possible. She feels it portrays the best qualities women possess when in a group including how they will allow others to shine if it benefits the group as a whole.
The cast list might have been even more star-studded…if that were possible
Elizabeth Banks was initially approached to star in the movie. However, she had to drop out and instead Sarah Paulson was cast in her place. Similarly, Jennifer Lawrence was offered a role but could not take it up. According to IMDB, Damian Lewis was due to play the art curator but had to drop out at short notice, allowing Richard Armitage to be cast. Ex-One Direction star Zayn Malik is set for his acting debut as he makes a cameo appearance.
While the main stars of the movie can expect to be well paid for their roles, that was not the case for at least one of the stars playing a cameo role. Olivia Munn revealed that she had to pay for her outfit after being asked to play a role at the Met Gala. She effectively had to pay to star in the movie.
Lengthy trailers and plenty of hype suggest the film could be a big hit
The popular Rotten Tomatoes film rating website shows that 88% of people expressing a view on the film want to see it, suggesting it could be one of the success stories of 2018. Many fans will have already seen the three movie trailers which have ramped up excitement and anticipation. The third of those, released by Rihanna on Instagram, introduces the characters. People already know the team Bullock has recruited; now they want to see if she can mastermind the heist.
Meanwhile, in an interview, Bullock and Blanchett said they thought the movie would never happen, and that there would never be an appetite for an all-female spin-off. How times have changed. Could there be an Ocean’s 9 in the future? Bullock will never say never, but that will all depend on exactly how viewers respond to the film.